Results from LGBTQ referendums held on Nov. 24 in Taiwan are in, and by a disappointing lop-sided vote, the Civil Code will remain unchanged when it comes to legalizing same-sex marriage, reports The Taipei News.
As a result, the legal recognition of same-sex committed relationships will have to take place through the passing of new legislation.
On Case 10, the people of Taiwan voted to maintain the definition of marriage in the Civil Code to be between a man and a woman by a lop-sided vote of 7,260,573 to 2,736,508.
Case 11, which asked whether “the Ministry of Education should not implement the Enforcement Rules for Gender Equality Education Act in elementary and middle schools,” also saw a defeat for the LGBTQ community as the ‘yes’ votes totaled 6,709,178 to 3,227,902.
Case 12 asked, “Do you agree to the protection of the rights of same-sex couples in co-habitation on a permanent basis in ways other than changing of the Civil Code?” Taiwanese voters were clear in saying they do believe in some kind of protections for LGBTQ couples voting 6,056,036 in the affirmative to 3,854,161 dissenting votes.
Case 14 asked if voters wanted to change the Civil Code to offer same-sex marriage. Voters said no.
Case 15 asked if schools should teach all students about ‘gender equality, emotional education, sex education and same-sex education’. Again, voters said no.
Taiwan’s high court ruled in May 2017 that it was unconstitutional for same-sex couples to be banned from marriage, and gave the government two years to legalize it. Due to disagreements within Taiwan’s parliament, legislation to legalize same-sex marriage stalled.
Taiwan’s lawmakers have remained deadlocked on a solution with the main point of contention being whether same-sex marriage should be legalized through changes to the Civil Code, or via brand new legislation.
The more conservative factions of Taiwan don’t favor amending the Civil Code.
While LGBTQ advocates say a separate marriage law, similar to the UK’s Civil Partnership Act, would fail to provide equality.
Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom To Marry, which led to fight for marriage equality in the U.S. issued a statement, which read in part:
“Tonight, we send our support to advocates and families in Taiwan who are hurting after a disappointing election result. 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.
“While the results of the referenda are not what we hoped for, it is clear that the movement for marriage in Taiwan will not be deterred. 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."
Nothing about today’s disappointing result in #Taiwan undermines the country’s highest court, which has affirmed marriage as a constitutional guarantee for #gay couples. Now more than ever, lawmakers must enact the freedom to marry. pic.twitter.com/VPKus17t5k
— Freedom to Marry (@freedomtomarry) November 24, 2018
Last month, over 130,000 participants took part in Taiwan's Pride Parade, the largest LGBTQ celebration in Asia.