Radio Taiwan International
Date: 19 November, 2018
By: Andrew Ryan
Pro-marriage equality advocates were out in force on the final weekend before the November 24th local elections in Taiwan. It was a last-minute push that drew tens of thousands of people on Sunday afternoon in front of the Presidential Office Building in downtown Taipei. Organizers say the crowd may have reached as many as 100,000.
Next Saturday, Taiwan citizens will head to the polls to vote in local elections; they will also have the opportunity to vote on ten referendums, five of which are related to marriage equality or the teaching of LGBT issues in schools. The results of the referendums could throw into question a Taiwan high court ruling from 2017 that said the nation’s marriage laws were unconstitutional because they discriminate against same sex couples. Although the referendums are binding, it’s questionable about the degree to which they could be enforced, especially if the ballot results are mixed or run counter to the high court ruling.
Sunday’s pro-marriage equality rally was organized by a collection of LGBT organizations called the “Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan”. Nearly two dozen groups of musicians and entertainers performed and gave speeches at the event, including singers like Shuo Hsiao, heavy metal band Chthonic (fronted by NPP lawmaker Freddy Lim), Ailing Tai, Lee Teh-yun, Afalean Lu, and Lara Liang.