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Equal marriage campaigners in Taiwan submit petition for own referendum

Written by gaytourism

LGBTI activists in Taiwan gather signatures for a equal marriage referendum (Photo: Facebook)

LGBTI campaigners in Taiwan on Tuesday (3 September) submitted a petition for a referendum on equal marriage.

The move further complicates the fight for equality on the island.

It came a week after anti equal marriage group, Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance, submitted a petition to election authorities. With more than 600,000 signatures, they were also asking for a referendum on the issue.

Referendums will likely take place alongside local elections in November.

In May 2017, Taiwan became the first Asian nation to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.

Grand Council of Justices ruled it was unconstitutional that the Civil Code did not allow same-sex couples to marry.

It gave legislators two years to make marriage equality law. But the legislative Yuan has been slow to act.

Vote No, Vote Yes

Now, campaigners on both sides are using a recently-passed referendum law to shape the debate.

Anti equal marriage campaigners want Taiwan to enact a separate law for civil unions between same-sex couples. This would be instead of changing the Civil Code.

LGBTI equality campaigners have denounced the move as discriminatory and failing to offer genuine equality.

Tuesday’s petition called for the question: ‘Do you agree with legalizing same sex marriage under the Civil Code?’

Last week’s anti equal marriage petition asked for referendums on:

‘Do you agree that the Civil Code should only allow opposite-sex marriage?’

And: ‘Do you agree we should use rules other than Civil Code to protect the rights of same-sex couples to initiate a long-time relationship to live together?’

Activists last week launched a campaign to secure votes in the upcoming referendum.

“Our goal is to win the referendum so the government and parliament will understand the majority of people support marriage equality,” chief organizer Jennifer Lu told Gay Star News.

At the weekend, Australian marriage equality advocates et up a fundraising effort to get much needed money to the Taiwan campaign.

‘We know from our own experience just how distressing the misinformation put forward during these campaigns can be,’ said Australian Marriage Equality (AME) co-chair, Alex Greenwich.

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