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.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The Taipei City Government yesterday said that construction on the long-suspended Taipei Dome can resume immediately, after it approved a request by the project’s main contractor, Farglory Group. In a statement, the Taipei Construction Management Office said that after it on July 16 issued a new building permit, Farglory submitted revised design plans and an application to resume construction, which the office approved on Friday. Construction had been suspended on the dome, near the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Xinyi District (信義), for more than five years due to disagreements between the city and the company over the safety of some of