A public referendum in Taiwan which considered several issues related to marriage equality and gender identity has dealt a blow to LGBTQ advocates. The referendum follows a 2017 high court decision ordering the government to legalize same-sex marriage by 2019 and will not affect that decision, but it may, as the Washington Post notes, “influence what the government does next — in particular, whether it amends the civil code or proposes a new law.”
The three same-sex marriage referendums put to the people are outlined below:
Case No. 10: “Do you agree that marriage defined in The Civil Code should be restricted to the union between one man and one woman?”
Case No. 12: “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?”
Case No. 14: “Do you agree to the protection of same-sex marital rights with marriage as defined in the Civil Code?”
According to preliminary results released by the Central Election Commission, Case No. 10 which has the potential to deny reforms to the Civil Code has received overwhelming support, with 70.12 percent of voters in favor.
According to Case No. 12, 57.60 percent of voters are in favor of potential legalization of same-sex marriage through means other than reforms to the civil code.
Lastly, according to Case No. 14, 30.27 percent of voters support same-sex marriage legalization through amendments to the Civil Code.
According to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) a result in favor of the referendum must exceed 25 percent of total eligible votes, and must be also greater than the number of votes against, according to the Central Election Commission.
In practice, this means that for a referendum to pass during the local elections on Nov. 24, over 4,939,267 votes must be cast in favor of the motion, and the votes for must outnumber those against.
Voters also said ‘no’ to a referendum item that asked if gender equality education should be taught in elementary schools, and ‘no’ to an item that asked if schools should teach all students about ‘gender equality, emotional education, sex education and same-sex education’. Final results are expected at 2 am on November 25.