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.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the
SELF-RELIANCE: Taiwan would struggle to receive aid in the event of an invasion, so it must prepare to ‘hold its own’ for the first 70 days of a war, a defense expert said Taiwan should strengthen infrastructure, stock up on reserves and step up efforts to encourage Taiwanese to fight against an enemy, legislators and experts said on Tuesday last week. The comments sought to summarize what the nation should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has exceeded 300 days, since Feb. 24 last year. Institute of National Defense and Security Research fellow Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said that the war in Ukraine highlighted the importance of being ready for war. Taiwan’s development of an “asymmetrical warfare” doctrine and extending mandatory conscription to one year is a good start to preparation of defense against a
The Tourism Bureau plans to offer incentives to attract international tourists as the nation plans to gradually lift all travel restrictions to contain COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The incentives would be funded by surplus national tax revenue from last year, Wang said. The funding could be appropriated after the legislature passes draft special statutes governing the use of the surplus tax revenue in the upcoming legislative session, he said. Of the NT$450 billion (US$14.97 billion) in surplus tax revenue, the government plans to spend NT$100 billion on seven categories of projects to bolster Taiwan’s