Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has denied changing her support of marriage equality after she told an activist they might not see marriage equality happen in their lifetime.
The activist, Vincent Huang, took to Facebook to accuse Tsai of backpedaling on her support of marriage equality.
Huang was at a discussion at the Presidential Office with groups on both sides of the marriage equality debate where he claimed Tsai made the anti-marriage equality comments.
He told the Tsai many gay and lesbian couples were worried their parents would not live to see their LGBTI children get married.
Huang claimed the president responded by saying ‘in this life, you may probably not live to see same-sex marriage’.
What Tsai really said
However the Presidential Office was quick to deny this what Tsai had said released some of the discussion transcript.
The president started saying event though LGBTI people have waited a long time for equality advocates should not risk efforts by trying to rush the issue.
‘The wait has already gone to this point, it should not be ruined at this last stage,’ she said.
‘If one has waited this long, but because there wasn’t patience at the last moment thus destroying all the efforts in the past, I know that this is the hardest point in time.’
At this point Huang interrupted her saying, ‘But our lives can’t be put on hold’.
I know, but even if you can’t put your lives on hold you need to consider the future of other people as well and think of them as well,’ Tsai responded.
Huang then said: ‘You support me and I’d be willing to take a bullet for you’.
‘That’s OK. But, actually when I was passing out red envelopes recently, young people told me: ‘I want to get married this year. As president, don’t you feel in your heart the need to fulfill that?’,’ she replied.
‘But really, this is not something that we can reach today in just one step. It’s a long road and it’s going to get harder and harder along the way.’
The Presidential Office told media ‘the memory and understanding’ of Huang and the president contained “differences,” adding that the transcript was published to allow dialogue to continue in the future.
LGBTI advocate Huang Shang-wen told the China Post Huang’s interpretation of what the president said was ‘understandable’ after the government decided not to prioritize the revision of the Civil Code during the current legislative session.
Huang said the decision was causing ‘anxiety’ among LGBTI groups.