The Equal Rights Referendum Group yesterday submitted to the Central Election Commission the signatures it has gathered for two referendum questions that, if approved by the commission, would be tied to the Nov. 24 nine-in-one local elections.
The two referendum proposals are on gender equality education and same-sex marriage, said Social Democratic Party (SDP) member Miao Po-ya (苗博雅), who is the group’s convener.
The same-sex marriage referendum proposal received more than 550,000 signatures, while the gender equality education referendum proposal received more than 450,000, Miao said.
However, due to time constraints, the group was only able to submit 500,000 and 400,000 signatures respectively, Miao added.
The referendum questions would be the greatest challenge ever for Taiwan’s same-sex movement, SDP member and Marriage Equality Platform convener Jennifer Lu (呂欣潔) said.
They would need at least 5 million to 7 million votes each to pass, Lu said.
“We hope to advance Taiwanese democratic values and allow those who love each other to form their own families, but we do not want the referendums to become a war between different sectors of society,” Lu said.
“We call on supporters to try to persuade their friends and family in the remaining 81 days until the election,” Lu said.
“Let us prove our worth and value, and choose what future for Taiwan we want with our votes in the referendum,” Lu added.
Veteran gay rights advocate Chi Chia-wei (祁家威) voiced support for the proposals, saying that they were short at least 220,000 signatures because of those who have committed suicide due to discrimination against the LGBT community.
Anti-LGBT referendum questions are “sugar-coated poison,” Chi said, adding the language of the questions is paradoxical.
The Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance anti-same-sex marriage group on Tuesday last week submitted three referendum proposals to the commission after collecting more than 600,000 signatures for each.
The three referendum proposals, if passed, would ask voters if the definition of marriage should be restricted to a union between a man and a woman; if same-sex education should be confined to high-school levels and beyond; and whether the right of same-sex couples to live together should be protected through ways that do not require amending the Civil Code.
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
Taiwan on Friday accused China of seeking to use the Honduran election to “create controversy” and undermine Taiwan’s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Honduras’ relations with Taipei. Honduras’ main left-wing opposition party, the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), led by ousted former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, has said that if it wins November’s presidential election it would seek to “readjust” the country’s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 15 UN member countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has already warned Honduras not
TESTING THE WATERS: Making the considerations public a day after a Biden-Xi phone call indicates that the US is testing China’s reaction, a think tank head said A Financial Times report that the US is considering allowing Taiwan to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington to feature the name “Taiwan” highlighted Washington’s “two-pronged” approach to China, a researcher said yesterday. The report on Friday said that Washington might allow the nation to change the office’s name to “Taiwan Representative Office.” The report came after US President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) by telephone for the first time since February. A White House readout of the call said that “the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both