|Taiwan gay couple got death threats
A Taiwanese gay couple said Tuesday they have received death threats after going public with a controversial appeal against the government for refusing to register their marriage.
Chen Ching-hsueh and his partner Kao Chih-wei filed a complaint with the Taipei Administrative Court last year against a government agency that turned them away when they tried to register their marriage, AFP reports.
While the general public had reacted positively, Chen said he got death threats and some offensive comments posted on his Facebook that prompted him to consider withdrawing his case.
One threat sent via Facebook said Chen's parents would die.
"I am not concerned about myself but I worry for my family,'' Chen, 40, told reporters, appearing with his 39-year-old partner.
"I have to ask myself if it is worth it to go ahead with the case if my family is at risk of being harmed.''
Chen expressed further frustration after the court failed to reach a decision as expected on Tuesday on whether to submit his case to the Grand Justices, the island's top judicial body.
Instead, the court asked both sides to present additional argument before it rules whether to ask the Grand Justices to hear the case and determine if it violates the constitution.
"It's regrettable that we have to go to court to ask the government to reinstate the rights we are entitled to as tax-paying citizens. We are not asking for extra benefits or special favours,'' Chen said outside the court.
The case has been widely described as a potential milestone for gay rights because it could pave the way to Asia's first legalisation of same-sex marriage.
Gay and lesbian groups in Taiwan, one of Asia's more liberal societies, have been urging the government for years to make same-sex unions legal.
Last year, more than 50,000 gays and lesbians and their supporters marched in Taiwan to push for legalising same-sex marriage as the island marked its 10th annual Gay Pride event.