Taiwan: Asia’s largest Pride Parade Held in Support of LGBT Rights Before Landmark Vote Next Month
Under the theme “Tell Your Story, Vote for Equality”, an estimated 130,000 people marched in front of the Office of the President in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday 27 October 2018. In 2017, Taiwan’s constitutional court ruled to legalise same sex marriage, making it the first place in Asia to do so. However, there has been little progress since then to change the legislation. On 24 November 2018, alongside local elections, referenda will be held on equal marriage rights for same sex couples and including LGBT issues in school curricula. Taiwan has been holding Pride Parades for 16 years.
The article below was published by news.com.au:
In 2017, Taiwan’s constitutional court legalised gay marriage, making it the first place in Asia to do so.
However, there has been little progress since then to bring in the mandatory change.
According to President Tsai Ing-wen, the island remains divided.
Anti-gay rights campaigners mounted a referendum against the amendment of the civil code which would allow same-sex couples to marry.
Alongside local elections, ten referendums will be held on November 24 [24 November 2018], two of which will be on equal marriage rights for same sex couples and including LGBT issues to the school curriculum.
There are three competing referendums from conservatives attempting to block such moves and referenda are binding in Taiwan.
In anticipation of the vote, and in an attempt to remind eligible voters to return home and vote, it’s estimated 130,000 people marched in front of the Office of the President.
Taiwan ruled Article 972 of the Civil Code was “unconstitutional”, as it previously stated marriage was between a man and a woman.
While the court’s decision to amend the civil code was binding, there was no specific guidance on how same-sex relationships would be legalised.
Taiwan has been holding gay pride events for 16 years. This year’s theme was “Tell Your Story, Vote for Equality” and slogans included “love is equal” and “vote for a happy future”.
“We hope the government will take the issue seriously. It’s a pity that there has been no action after the court decision,” said Chin Kuang-chih, 26, a drag queen performer.
Chen Yu-fang, a mother who brought her two children to the rally, supports the referendum in favour of the amendments.
“I support the referendums because marriage equality is a basic human right that nobody should be deprived of and gender equality education at school is crucial to prevent discrimination and bullying.”
If 1.5 per cent of the electorate - or 280,000 signatures - support a referendum proposal, it gets put to a public vote.
There are 19.79 million eligible voters in Taiwan. Assuming the “yes” vote surpasses the “no” vote, the government must draw up a bill that reflects the results and then it will be put to parliamentary vote.
However, analysts are unsure what will happen if two conflicting referendums pass.
Photo Courtesy of Carrie Kellenberger @Flickr