Saturday, November 24, 2018

Taiwan Votes 'No' On Amending Constitution To Allow Same-Sex Marriage

Taiwan Pride 2018 (image via Instagram)

Results from the LGBTQ referendums held on Nov. 24 in Taiwan are in, and by a disappointing lop-sided vote, the Civil Code will remain unchanged in terms of same-sex marriage, reports The Taipei News.

As a result, the legal recognition of same-sex committed relationships will have to take place through the passing of new legislation.

On Case 10, the people of Taiwan voted to maintain the definition of marriage in the Civil Code to be between a man and a woman by a lop-sided vote of 7,260,573 to 2,736,508.

Case 11, which asked whether the Ministry of Education should repeal LGBT inclusive portions of the Enforcement Rules for Gender Equality Education Act in elementary and middle schools, also saw a defeat for the LGBTQ community as the ‘yes’ votes totaled 6,709,178 to 3,227,902.

Case 12 asked if there should be a separate, unequal status for same-sex couples. Taiwanese voters were clear voting 6,056,036 in the affirmative to 3,854,161 dissenting votes.

Case 14 asked if voters wanted to change the Civil Code to offer same-sex marriage. Voters said no.

Case 15 asked if schools should teach all students about ‘gender equality, emotional education, sex education and same-sex education’. Voters said no.

Taiwan’s high court ruled in May 2017 that it was unconstitutional for same-sex couples to be banned from marriage, and gave the government two years to find a legislative solution. Due to disagreements within Taiwan’s parliament, legislation to legalize same-sex marriage stalled.

Taiwan’s parliament has remained deadlocked on a solution as the main point of contention is whether same-sex marriage should be legalized through changes to the Civil Code, or via entirely new legislation. The more conservative factions of Taiwan don’t favor amending the Civil Code.

Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom To Marry, which led to fight for marriage equality in the U.S. issued this statement:

“Tonight, we send our support to advocates and families in Taiwan who are hurting after a disappointing election result.

"Over the last year, anti-LGBT organizations—bankrolled and instigated by US-based groups like the National Organization for Marriage—spent millions on scare tactics and deceit, in an effort to spread lies about gay and lesbian people and harm families.

“While the results of the referenda are not what we hoped for, it is clear that the movement for marriage in Taiwan will not be deterred.

"Nothing about tonight’s votes undermines the landmark court ruling affirming that the freedom to marry is a right guaranteed by Taiwan’s Constitution. And nothing changes the clear mandate from the Court: That by May 2019, lawmakers must update the civil code to allow same-sex couples to marry."



Last month, over 130,000 participants took part in Taiwan's Pride Parade, the largest LGBTQ celebration in Asia.




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