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Domestic Partnership News Archive
July 01 - July 06, 2001

 

 

 
 

This page contains news for the period July 01, 2001 through July 06, 2001.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Taiwan expands domestic partners rights

A story released today by the Taipei Times reports that on June 26, Taiwan's Ministry of Justice produced a draft of the basic human rights law intended to further protect and promote human rights in Taiwan. Article 6 stipulates that gays and lesbians shall be allowed to have families as well as to legally adopt children.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education is planning to include discussions on homosexual issues in the future Nine-Year Educational Program to "help students and parents understand and respect others."  Such progress clearly shows an increasing acceptance of homosexuality.

"I believe the ministry's recent decision concerning gay and lesbian families and adoption is a positive move conducive to the elimination of discrimination against homosexuals." said ministry chief advisor, Tsai Mao-sheng. "The rights of homosexuals shall be protected in order to avoid any unjust treatment."

"Only by allowing same-gender couples to legally form families can we enable them to enjoy the rights and privileges afforded to all married "straight" couples -- such as automatic inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, the right to make medical or health care decisions on behalf of one's partner and greater access to insurance and credit, among other benefits." said Tsai.

The ministry's decision to allow homosexuals to adopt children is also commendable.   In fact, an increasing number of homosexual couples and individuals worldwide are choosing to become parents.

In the year 2000, an estimated 5 million children were being raised in gay and lesbian households in the US alone -- whether through birth parenting, step parenting, donor insemination, foster parenting or adoption. Experts say that gay and lesbian parents are good parents, since they are usually caring and open-minded about raising children.

Still, the ministry stressed that the right to "form a family," as stated in the draft, is different from the right to a legal marriage.


Critics assert that according to Article 7 of the Constitution, "All citizens, irrespective of sex, religion, race, class or party affiliation, shall be equal before the law."  They believe that gay and lesbian rights should be legally protected and promoted in Taiwan to ensure that all individuals can be treated equally and justly.

Census reveals where domestic partners tend to settle down

A story published today by the Washington Post reports that the recently released 2000 Census is revealing striking differences between the places where lesbian couples and gay male couples choose to settle. In metropolitan areas across the country, the men tend to pick the city and the women opt for the suburbs.

In District of Columbia, for example, gay male couples outnumber lesbian couples almost 3 to 1. While each of the eight suburban counties of Maryland, for which the Census Bureau released data yesterday, there are more lesbian couples than male couples.

The census, however, underscores how openly homosexuals are living across a wide area of the United States outside the hip urban centers more commonly considered appealing to gay people. Suburbia has a particular draw for couples, straight or gay, who are raising children. 

Households consisting of two partners of the same sex have also shown up in more than 90 percent of the counties reported so far, compared with 25 percent in the 1990 Census. They appear in all 105 counties of Kansas, and in all but 10 of Nebraska's 93 counties.

Demographers and gay activists say the numbers primarily reflect a more accurate tally of same-sex partners, rather than a dramatic growth in number.

"We're on the farm, in the suburbs and the cities," said David Elliott, of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "It shows we are indeed everywhere. And it debunks the stereotype we're only in Dupont Circle."

A comparison of census statistics for the District and Maryland illustrates a pattern borne out across the country.

In the District, the census counted 2,693 households of gay male partners, compared with 985 households of lesbian partners. But in each of the eight Maryland suburbs, lesbian couples outnumber their male counterparts, with a total of 3,217 households of female partners to 2,717 households of male partners.

The major reasons why lesbian couples say they have chosen to build a life in the suburbs are familiar to most heterosexual couples.

They are more likely than gay men to have children, and they perceive the suburbs as offering better schools. Like women in general, lesbians tend to earn less than gay men and so venture to the suburbs to find cheaper, roomier housing. And for themselves and their children, they find more safety living outside the city.

But as more gay and lesbian couples move to the suburbs, old stereotypes are giving way. Many homosexual couples say they have found a degree of acceptance in the suburbs they would have found unimaginable a decade ago.

Cogan and Lucas, who have decorated their Silver Spring house with crafts and handmade mission furniture, have an elderly neighbor who drops by to lend them his tools. The minister who lives across the street has also been very friendly.

"Gay couples used to live in the cities because that's where they were accepted, tolerated," said Lucas, 45, who works in public relations for a health firm. "Now it's much more like that in the suburbs. We're totally accepted and welcomed here."

 

 

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