Taipei — Taiwan’s government says it will propose a draft law to allow same-sex marriage amid a heated debate over marriage equality that has divided the self-ruled island. This is Asia’s first such bill. In November, Taiwanese voters opposed marriage equality in a series of referendums, dealing a blow to the island’s reputation for liberalism in Asia. The public votes defined marriage as between a man and a woman and asked for a special law to be enacted for same-sex unions. The proposed law, presented by Taiwan’s cabinet, would grant same-sex couples the right to marriage, newly appointed premier Su Tseng-chang said on Wednesday. In a move to “respect the result of the referendum”, Taiwan’s existing definition for marriage in civil law would not be altered and a special law would be enacted for same-sex marriage, Su said.

“We belong to the same country regardless of whether you are heterosexual or homosexual,” Su said. “I sincerely hope that everyone could accept difference ...

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