Dec 25, 2018 Human Rights Comments Off on ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE GROUPS WIN TAIWAN REFERENDUM BATTLE
TAIPEI Voters in Taiwan backed anti-gay marriage referendums on Saturday in what LGBT activists said was a major blow to the island's reputation as a rights trailblazer.
The result came at the end of a dramatic evening which saw Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen resign as leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after it suffered major defeats in key mid-term polls, a significant blow to her prospects for re-election in 2020.
The Beijing-friendly main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) made gains in the face of China's increasing pressure on the island.
As well as voting for seats from village to city level, there were 10 referendums on the ballot, including pro- and anti-gay marriage proposals.
A referendum calling for marriage to only be recognised as between a man and a woman in Taiwan's Civil Code won more than seven million votes, while another calling for same-sex unions to be regulated under a separate law gained over six million.
Gay rights activists had proposed that the Civil Code should give same-sex couples equal marriage rights, but only garnered three million votes.
"Pro-family" group the Coalition for the Happiness of our Next Generation said the win was a "victory of all people who treasure family values".
Jennifer Lu, a spokeswoman for Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, said they were saddened by what she described as the "absurd referendums" and blamed government "incompetence" for allowing the anti-gay marriage votes to go ahead.
Taiwan's top court legalised same-sex marriage in May 2017, the first place in Asia to do so, and ruled that it must be brought in within two years, but the government has made little progress in the face of opposition from conservative groups.
Although the government has clearly stated that the referendum results will not impact the court's original decision to legalise gay marriage, LGBT campaigners worry that their newly won rights will be weakened.
With the conservative vote passing the threshold of 25 percent of eligible electors, under referendum law the government must take steps to reflect the result.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK
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