Voters in Taiwan on Saturday voted
against amending Taiwan's marriage laws to include gay and lesbian
Last year, Taiwan's Constitutional
Court gave the government two years to extend marriage rights to
same-sex couples. The ruling led to referendum questions on
Opponents of marriage equality proposed
creating a separate marriage law for gay couples. In response, LGBT
activists put forward a referendum proposing that Taiwan's marriage
laws be amended to include same-sex couples.
Voters decided that such unions should
be legalized through new legislation.
In a statement, Marriage Equality
Coalition Taiwan called the referendum “illegal” and “harmful”
“The result showed that most people
were misled by false information from anti-gay groups,” the group
Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to
Marry, claimed in a press release that U.S.-based groups opposed to
marriage equality had funded the campaign that led to Saturday's
“Over the last year, anti-LGBT
organizations – bankrolled and instigated by US-based groups like
the National Organization for Marriage – spent millions on scare
tactics and deceit, in an effort to spread lies about gay and lesbian
people and harm families,” Wolfson said.
“Nothing about tonight's votes
undermines the landmark court ruling affirming that the freedom to
marry is a right guaranteed by Taiwan's Constitution. And nothing
changes the clear mandate from the Court: That by May 2019, lawmakers
must update the civil code to allow same-sex couples to marry.”
“In the 25 countries around the world
where same-sex couples have the freedom to marry, people have seen
that families are helped and no one is hurt – and the divisiveness
and fear generated by opponents in Taiwan, leading to the
disappointing votes today, will quickly fade. People will embrace
respect for same-sex couples, affirm their love and commitment, and
move again to support the freedom to marry. 1.1 billion people around
the world now live in a freedom to marry country; the people of
Taiwan deserve no less,” he added.
Taiwan hosts the region's largest
annual LGBT Pride parade.