Such a setback for Taiwan. Despite a decision by Taiwan’s high court in March 2017 in favor of gay marriage, and the fact that enacting same-sex marriage would have made Taiwan the first Asian nation to do so, the island nation has officially rejected gay marriage in its highly anticipated public referendums.
Because the high court in March 2017 gave Taiwan parliament a two-year deadline to either amend the current laws or to pass a new one enacting gay marriage, it’s still unclear how the decisions emerging from the public referendum will affect that.
Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen, who ran on a platfom in support of gay marriage but who has long been accused of dragging her feet, has given up her post as leader of Taiwan’s governing party. The Democratic Progressive Party she hed is expected to lose more than half of the territory it won back in 2014, according to the BBC and local Taiwan media.
From The BBC:
The marriage issue was actually the subject of three separate referendums on Saturday, which were put forward by rival camps.
Conservative groups asked whether the legislation – defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in Taiwan’s Civil Code – should remain unchanged, while LGBT activists demanded equal marriage rights.
Initial results suggest the conservatives received overwhelming support, while gay rights activists failed.
The government earlier said Saturday’s referendums would not affect it bringing in the changes required by the court ruling. The authorities are now expected to pass a special law, without amending the Civil Code.
But campaigners fear the eventual legislation will be weaker.
One possible outcome could be that gay couples are given legal protection – but not allowed to get married, correspondents say.
What do you think of Taiwan’s rejection of gay marriage in today’s referendum?
Featured image by Ritchie B. Tongo / European Pressphoto Agency