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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 30, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 48
Freedom to Marry global statement on Taiwan referendum results
Section One
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Freedom to Marry global statement on Taiwan referendum results

Today, voters in Taiwan passed three referenda - Questions 10, 11 and 12 - that seek to delay the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and roll back national curriculum standards that teach students to respect their LGBT peers. Question 10 aimed to restrict same-sex couples from marriage, Question 11 opposed LGBT-inclusive portions of the Gender Equity Education Act, and Question 12 backed separate and unequal status for same-sex couples. In addition, voters rejected Questions 14 and 15, which supported marriage for same-sex couples and the Gender Equity Education Act.

In May 2017, Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right protected under Taiwan's constitution, ordering the legislative Yuan to update the civil code to allow same-sex couples to marry by May 2019.

Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry, released the following statement in response to the referendum results:

'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.

'A healthy democracy requires more than merely subjecting the rights of a minority to the whim of a public vote. Democratic institutions, including the Constitutional Court, are the cornerstone of Taiwan's democratic society - and we stand with local advocates as they renew their call for elected leaders to uphold the important safeguard function that courts play, and respect the constitutional rights of all Taiwanese people, including the freedom 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.

'Because every day of denial is a day of real injury, indignity, and injustice, it is time to fulfill the command of the Constitution and end exclusion from marriage without further delay.'

Courtesy of Freedom to Marry

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