Taiwanese voters said “No” to same-sex marriage and LGBT indoctrination in a national referendum held this past Saturday. However, it is unlikely to do more than stall the imposition of the novelty on Taiwan.
On November 24, Taiwanese voters were presented with referendum questions by both supporters and opponents of same-sex unions. The three put forward by supporters of the traditional definition of marriage passed, and the two suggested by pro-LGBT activists did not.
At stake was not just marriage, but children’s education. One of the motions put forward by homosexualist activists was for “gender equality education covering LGBTI rights to be included in compulsory education.”
The people’s choice was a great disappointment to pro-LGBT activists in Taiwan and abroad who have vowed to impose same-sex marriage and homosexualist education on the island nation. The leader of Taiwan’s branch of Amnesty International, Annie Huang, lamented the rejection of “same-sex marriage rights” and “LGBTI-inclusive education in schools.”
“This result is a bitter blow and a step backwards for human rights in Taiwan,” she wrote in a press statement. “However, despite this setback, we remain confident that love and equality will ultimately prevail.”
The referendum followed a controversial ruling by Taiwan’s high court in May that it was “unconstitutional” to ban same-sex unions. The government was given two years to change the law, but then a conservative grassroots movement used the nation’s referendum law to stop it.
However, it is unlikely that the will of the people will be enough to overthrow the legal ruling in favor of same-sex unions.
In the weeks leading up to the referendum, Taiwan’s small Christian community was divided. One pro-LGBT pastor was photographed with a banner reading “Rainbow Bridges” whereas the Catholic Church, while expressing respect for people with same-sex attractions, made a firm statement against the proposed novelty:
According to the Asian Catholic news service ucanews.com, Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan of Taipei cited Pope Francis as he declared Catholic teaching about marriage:
“The pope means that we respect gay people as they are also our brothers and sisters. But the teaching of God about marriage is composed of one man and one woman and the church doesn’t change this position. We do not discriminate against gays and are willing to protect their certain rights, but we cannot support same-sex marriage and same-sex union,” the archbishop said.
“During the review of the Civil Code by the Legislative Yuan, I have clearly stated the attitude of the Catholic Church: the legalization of same-sex marriage and same-sex union is not in line with our teachings,” he continued.
“ … We accept gay people, but it does not mean we endorse all their actions; just as a mother accepts her child but may not agree with the child’s behavior or meet all his requirements.”