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LGBTI Taiwan urges new Premier to implement marriage equality

LGBTI Taiwan urges new Premier to implement marriage equality

LGBTI activists in Taiwan hold a press conference on Wednesday (Photo: Supplied)

LGBTI rights advocates in Taiwan on Wednesday (16 January) urged the country’s new premier, Su Tseng-Chang, to uphold a 2017 court ruling and implement marriage equality through parliament.

It comes after a devastating referendum loss in November 2018. Taiwan voters opted for a separate law to legalize same-sex unions rather than to change the Civil Code.

Taiwan’s Constitutional Court in May 2017 ruled the country’s Civil Code was unconstitutional for discriminating against same-sex unions.

It gave lawmakers two years to legislate before same-sex marriage became automatically legal. But, it left room for legislators to decide how to implement changes.

In recent weeks, activists warned Wednesday, anti-gay groups have been lobbying lawmakers to implement a cohabitation or partnership law.

They say this fails to give LGBTI people marriage equality.

’The new law should still be “marriage” according to the requirements of the Constitutional Court’ Joyce Teng of the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan told Gay Star News.

‘We urged the new Premier to propose a new marriage bill as soon as possible’ she said.

Taiwan swore in a new Premier this week after the previous one resigned following local election defeat for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the same day as the referenda in November.

Devastating defeat

Taiwan is often heralded as a beacon of liberalism in Asia. It is widely renowned as the ‘best place to be LGBTI’ in Asia. It holds the region’s largest LGBTI pride parade.

Following the May 2017 court ruling, the world widely expected Taiwan to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

But, after inaction from the ruling DPP and a change to referendum rules, Taiwan went to the polls. It voted on equal marriage and LGBTI education on November 24, 2018.

Following a well-funded campaign of misinformation by anti-gay groups, Taiwan voted resoundingly against changing the Civil Code.

The country, therefore, rejected true equality for its LGBTI population. Calls to an LGBTI hotline surged.

What’s more, Thailand is now looking to offer same-sex partnerships. It may, therefore, become the first country in the region to legalize same-sex unions.

See Also:

LGBTI life in Taiwan tells us progress is not always a straight line

Turning a Chinese classic into a look at the gay scene in Taiwan’s capital

Legalize same-sex marriage despite referendum result, Human Rights Watch tells Taiwanese government