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Christian groups one step closer to stopping same-sex marriage in Taiwan

Christian groups one step closer to stopping same-sex marriage in Taiwan

Anti-LGBTI Christian protestors in Taipei sit on the road there is a close up of a woman holding up two signs written in mandarin

Christian groups have edged closer to a national referendum on same-sex marriage in Taiwan. The latest development is a huge setback for marriage equality campaigners.

In May last year the Grand Council of Justices ruled it was unconstitutional that the Civil Code did not allow same-sex couples to marry. The Council gave legislators two years to make marriage equality law.

But as lawmakers drag their feet on the issue, conservative Christian groups have maintained their protests against the LGBTI community.

This week they got the first green light to hold a national referendum. They want the country to vote on marriage equality and LGBTI education in schools.

The Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups applied to the Central Election Commission (CEC) for the referendum in February. The Alliance said it got more than 3,500 signatures in favor of the referendum. That number is well above the minimum 1,879 needed to move to the next step.

On Tuesday (17 April) the CEC declared the Alliance’s application successful.

Now the Alliance must get 281,745 signatures, or 1.5% of the total number of eligible voters in the most recent presidential election in order for the referendum to become a reality.

The proposed referendum will ask three questions:

  • Do you agree or disagree that the Civil Code assures individuals to share the right to the committed purpose of managing a life together?
  • Do you agree or disagree that in national education at the junior high and elementary school levels, that the Ministry of Education and schools should not implement education on homosexuality as detailed in the Gender Equity Education Act?
  • Do you agree or disagree that the Civil Code restricts restricts unions to between a male and female?

Will love win?

One person who has followed Taiwan’s journey towards marriage equality closely is filmmaker Lucie Liu.

Liu’s has been in the capital Taipei shooting a documentary about the marriage equality campaign called taipeilove* which is in the middle of an important crowdfunding campaign.

She’s ‘shocked’ but ‘not surprised’ at the recent developments and described the mood in Taipei as tense.

‘As someone who has closely followed the developments in Taiwan I am shocked that the threshold has been met so early but I am not surprised,’ Liu told Gay Star News.

‘The topic of same sex marriage divides society like to other topic. But to me anything less than implementing equal rights completely contradicts with the decision made in May 2017.

‘The LGBT community in Taiwan will have to engage in a fight forward.’