Words: Steve Brown
Taiwan votes against same-sex marriage in last weekend’s referendum.
The island – which is part of the Republic of China - announced they will be reviving a debate over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
Last year, Taiwan became the first island in Asia to allow same-sex couples to get married and gave a two-year deadline for legalisation.
However, an activist group submitted a petition to Taiwan’s Central Election Commission proposing a vote on the issue and asked for a separate law for same-sex unions, something they claimed would defend “family values”.
Following a month-long review, the commission decided that the referendum would be held on November 24 – the same day the island is set to hold mayoral and magisterial elections.
Now, the results of the referendum saw more people voting ‘yes’ to restrict Taiwan’s Civil Code to mean the union of one man and one woman meaning they passed the 25 per cent approval threshold.
Although a referendum cannot overturn a court ruling, it’s likely that marriage equality will not be accepted in Taiwan through amendments to the Civil Code but rather legislation will be passed to safeguard the rights of same-sex couples to enter unions.
Already, a spokeswoman for the Executive Yuan announced that a law is being drafted and will be introduced for a vote in the legislature within three months – just ahead of the May 2019 deadline set by court.
Voters also approved a referendum against the teaching of same-sex education in schools.