Taiwan’s President ‘Respects’ Gay Marriage, Which Is Still Illegal


On Friday in a meeting with foreign correspondants in Taipei, Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou expressed his support for gay marriage in his country.

Ying-jeou noted that when he was mayor of Taipei 15 years ago it was one of the only cities in the world that had a budget for supporting gay rights activities and is now one of the most gay-friendly cities in Asia. However, heterosexual marriage in Taiwan developed over thousands of years of history and Ying-jeou lamented that advancing gay marriage, which is still illegal in the country, is going to take "a high degree of consensus".


  1. jamal49 says

    Well, at least he’s talking about it. Now, the LGBT community must call him on it: if a consensus can be built among the Taiwanese that marriage equality is acceptable then let it come to pass.

  2. says

    I like how he put it. He’s being realistic about the odds in Taiwan for marriage equality, especially among his own governing party, the conservative KMT. The liberal-progressive pan-Green DPP introduced the most recent bill in this year’s Legislative Yuan and the KMT is responding with a great big “meh…what about the economy?”

  3. Rich P says

    A quick note … Chinese names put the family name first, and even in English, Chinese people are usually referred to in this way. Ma Ying-jeou’s family name is Ma, so references to him after the first mention should call him “Ma”, not “Ying-jeou”.

  4. says

    True, it’s great that he’s talking about it and expanding the dialogue. However, it’s notable to take into account the fact that 53% of Taiwanese (according to the most recent poll) support marriage equality (in the context of same-sex couples). I don’t know if links are allowed to be posted, but the one pointing to this story is the URL at my name.

    This meaning that, in fact, there is a consensus mostly in support of same-sex marriage, along with 83% who say that it’s one’s personal choice on who to love and 76% who say that gays and lesbians should have equal rights. Of course, the gap between “equal rights” and “marriage” is likely due to the ambivalence of marriage as being an equal right as we’d find in many other countries.

    But nonetheless, there’s clearly progress on this issue in Taiwan and through either a referendum-like event or other government initiative, we can probably see marriage equality in effect in Taiwan pretty soon.

  5. woody says

    There are few christians and muslims in taiwan, so we won’t have to fend of relentless attemps from religious people to trample on our rights. that should make it easier.

  6. wongsan says

    We have a small but powerful and loudmouthed pan-Christian establishment in Taiwan. Besides, they have no problem working with Confucian rightwingers just to defeat “deviants.”

  7. Powerlad says

    Rich P, actually, it’s the exact opposite. Like JW said, “Ma” is his family, or last, name, “Ying-Jeou” is essentially his first name, if you equate it with English names. So calling him “Ma” would essentially be like calling you “Peterson,” if, for example, that was your last name.

  8. Krampus says

    Powerlad, actually, Rich P and JW were saying the exact same thing. Of course he should be referred to as Ma, just like Obama should be referred to as Obama, not Barack.

    Also, I didn’t hear anything in Ma’s comments that suggested he supported gay marriage, but rather that he was a generally tolerant person. So all in all, pretty lazy reporting here.