The DPP Should Not Blame LGBT Advocates for Their Election Loss

It’s a dangerous, despicable strategy. It’s also incorrect.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/12/05
By: Roy Ngerng

Credit: AP / Chiang Ying-ying

On Nov. 24, Taiwanese voters decided on three referendum questions directly pertaining to the issue of same-sex marriage. They were:

  • Question 10: Do you agree that Civil Code regulations (constitution) should restrict marriage to being between a man and a woman?
  • Question 12: Do you agree to types of unions, other than those stated in the marriage regulations in the Civil Code, to protect the rights of same-sex couples who live together permanently?
  • Question 14: Do you agree that the Civil Code marriage regulations should be used to guarantee the rights of same-sex couples to get married?

Questions 10 and 12 were provided by anti-marriage equality groups. Question 14 was proposed by pro-equality advocates.

Yesterday, I argued that the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), the more conservative-leaning of Taiwan’s two major parties, was able to manipulate these referendum questions to help voters deliver a harsh rebuke of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at the polls.

However, the anti-marriage equality campaign was built on a foundation of lies.

In the first place, there was criticism that their referendum questions were intended to mislead. On question 12, the question was phrased as coming out with a separate law aimed at “protecting” same-sex relationships. Ahead of the vote, there was persistent chatter that anti-LGBT campaigners were going around misleading others by telling people that they should vote “yes” for question 12 because it would serve to “protect” the rights of same-sex couples, even if it would deny them equal protections.

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