The results of Saturday’s referendums on equal marriage rights has been interpreted by some as a resounding rejection of same-sex marriage by Taiwanese, but rights advocates said the campaign was heavily skewed in favor of the anti-gay rights camp.
Of the five referendums on Saturday that touched on gay issues, three reached the required threshold of more than 4.94 million “yes” votes, a quarter of eligible voters, needed to pass.
Referendum #10 — which asked “Do you agree that the Civil Code should define marriage as the union between a man and a woman?” — garnered 7,658,008 “yes” votes and 2,907,429 “no” votes.
There were 7,083,379 votes in favor of referendum #11 — which asked: Do you agree that in the course of mandatory public education (in junior-high schools and elementary schools), the Ministry of Education and schools at various levels should not teach classes regarding gay people that are stipulated by the Gender Equity Education Act (性別平等教育法)?” — and 3,419,624 votes against it.
Referendum #12 — which asked: “Do you agree that the right to persons of the same sex to create a permanent union should be guaranteed by an institution other than marriage as defined by the Civil Code?” — garnered 6,401,748 votes in favor of it and 4,072,471 against.
The proposals that did not pass were No. 14, which asked: “Do you agree that the right to marriage of persons of the same sex should be protected by legislation under the chapter on marriage of the Civil Code?” — and No. 15, which asked: “Do you agree that mandatory education should, as stipulated by the Gender Equity Education Act (性別平等教育法), implement gender equality education, which includes emotional, sexual and gay and lesbian education?”
There were 6,949,697 votes against No. 14 and 3,382,286 in favor of it, while No. 15 garnered 6,805,171 votes against it and 3,507,665 in favor.
Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference secretary-general Chen Ko (陳科) yesterday said the referendum results were “an indication that the position of Taiwanese society is that same-sex marriage is unacceptable.”
Chen said the results of the pro-gay referendums were a surprise.
Based on the way society has reacted to annual gay pride parades, acceptance of gay people did not seem to be a problem, but the results on the question about same-sex marriage suggest Taiwan is not ready for such a change, Chen said.
“Taiwanese tend to be more conservative when it comes to marriage, finding it hard to accept changes made to the definition of marriage,” Chen said.
Happiness Alliance president Tseng Hsien-ying (曾獻瑩), one of the initiators of Referendum #11, said: “People used their ballots to make their voice heard. Family values and inclusion of those values in the education of the next generation are mainstream public opinion that the government should heed.”
Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, an LGBTIQ rights group, on Saturday reminded the government it is obliged to put the Council of Grand Justices’ Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 in favor of same-sex marriage into law despite the referendum results.
The grand justices on May 24 last year ruled that the Civil Code’s definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman was unconstitutional and ordered that the law be amended or another law legalizing same sex-marriage be introduced within two years.
The anti-gay rights camp poured hundreds of millions of New Taiwan dollars into advertisements to brainwash society with propaganda aimed at inciting fear, hatred, prejudice and bias against gay people, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said in a statement.
“We will not give up our fight and we believe that justice will come to society,” it said, adding: “We would like to remind the government that the referendum results do not alter the fact that the grand justices’ ruling must be acted on before May 24, 2019.”
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she