Religious Groups In Taiwan Are Asking Lawmakers To Initiate A Referendum On Gay Marriage
Taiwan’s marriage equality is in trouble.
Last year, the world celebrated as Taiwan announced it would become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
In May, the Grand Council of Justices ruled that it was unconstitutional for the Civil Code to not allow gay marriage. That said, the Grand Council gave lawmakers two years to update the law.
Unfortunately, that wide breath of time has also given opposition to the change enough time to challenge it.
The Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups is currently working on a referendum, a country wide vote, on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized and whether LGBTQ sex education should be taught in schools.
In order to have this vote, the Alliance had to go through a multi-step process. First, they had to get 3,500 signatures to get lawmakers to listen to them. They, unfortunately, were able to get that amount and more. Now, they are trying to get at least 281,745 signatures so that lawmakers know enough citizens are calling for this public vote.
In the Alliance’s corner is Tai Wei-li who is the chairman of Nanyang Industries, which distributes Hyundai automotives in the country.
Tasi is offering NT$1,000 (US$33) to any member of his staff who helps to campaign for those signatures and the referendum.
Though many have questioned him on this, Tsai says that the act is optional to his staff. And that he believes the country shouldn’t legalize gay marriage.
While Taiwan is seriously in danger of having religious folk turning back marriage equality, there is some hope thanks to Bermuda.
Last year, many were upset to hear that lawmakers on the island nation of Bermuda had overturned the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling. They had created the Domestic Partnership Act (or DPA) to separate straight marriages from domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and straight couples.
That Act officially went into effect on June 1, but the Supreme Court then overturned that law just a few days later. The Court ruled that the Act was unconstitutional and conflicts with the right to freedom of conscience and creed.
As religious groups gather up to challenge marriage equality in Taiwan, perhaps the country’s Supreme Court can put them in their place like Bermuda’s did.
Meanwhile, the US’s Supreme Court is voting in favor of religious groups in open conflict with LGBTQ people, but that’s another story entirely.