Supporters of same-sex marriage in Taiwan before the referendum
Supporters of same-sex marriage in Taiwan before the referendum

Taiwan rejects same-sex marriage in referendum

ANI | Updated: Nov 25, 2018 11:21 IST

Taipei [Taiwan], Nov 25 (ANI): A public vote held in Taiwan rejected the legalisation of same-sex marriage in the island-nation, despite a 2017 high court ruling in favour of such unions.
Quoting state media, CNN reported that a question which asked "Do you agree that Civil Code regulations should restrict marriage to being between a man and a woman?" received the largest vote-share - more than seven million votes - amongst five referendum questions related to LGBT rights and education.
Out of these, three questions were framed by members from conservative parties while two had been drafted by pro-LGBT activists.
On the other hand, the question on same-sex marriage put forth by gay rights activists only garnered three million votes, sending a wave of disappointment amongst supporters.
"The results of the referendums on Saturday indicate that the three anti-LGBTI rights motions were accepted, with up to 35 per cent of all eligible voters supporting. The two pro-LGBTI rights motions received less than 18 per cent in favour," human rights group Amnesty International mentioned.
The referendum took place regardless of the high court's ruling, as the government failed to implement laws legitimising same-sex marriages in the face of resistance from conservative groups that led to the public vote. The court had given a two-year deadline to the government.
"The regression of gender equality deals the most severe blow to Taiwan's democratic values," Jennifer Lu, Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan's spokesperson told Al Jazeera.
Nevertheless, human rights groups including Amnesty International are rallying for marriage equality in the island nation. Amnesty tweeted, "Taiwan's referendum results rejecting marriage equality are a bitter blow but despite this setback, we remain confident that love and equality will ultimately prevail!"
This is a major setback to same-sex rights in the nation, in the face of the latest local elections in Taiwan. Current President Tsai Ing-wen turned in her resignation as the chief of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after the results, where DPP was handed a crushing defeat.
She will, however, serve the remainder of her term as Taiwan's President until 2020.
The Kuomintang (KMT) party, which is believed to be close to the People's Republic of China, obtained a higher vote share in the elections which are being seen as a precursor to the 2020 Presidential elections. (ANI)