A new referendum has been called for in an attempt to thwart a court ruling that has ordered the recognition of same-sex marriage in Taiwan, thanks to anti-LGBTI conservative groups, with the backing of homophobic religious groups from the United States.
The referendum follows the country’s top court, the Council of Grand Justices, ruling that the Taiwan government had two years to change the law to enact marriage equality, making Taiwan the first nation in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.
While the government agreed to comply at the time it’s now being reported by local media that a referendum on marriage equality and LGBTI rights will now be held on November 24, 2018.
According to reports, the move follows efforts by conservative and religious groups, led by the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance, to force the public vote as opposed to changing the law as was ruled by the Council of Grand Justices.
Collecting more than the 280,000 signatures, the amount legally required to call a referendum, the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance, at this stage appear to be successful in putting a halt to any pending law change.
The poll which will reportedly ask the public if marriage should only be between a man and woman and if a “separate but equal” law should be enacted for same-sex couples, anti-LGBTI groups behind the referendum say that this would protect “traditional marriage” and “family values.”
Taiwan is currently regarded as one of the most progressive states throughout Asia when it comes to LGBTI rights and equality.
Homosexuality is legal and discrimination against gays and lesbians is outlawed in the areas of employment and education. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who came into office in 2016, has also put her support forward for marriage equality, however, added that it is up to lawmakers to make this a reality.