Cours Diversité et inclusion

Exercice - Taiwan votes down same-sex marriage


Read this article and answer the questions.
Taiwan votes down same-sex marriage as China welcomes midterm* results

LGBT activists said it was a major blow to the island’s reputation as a rights trailblazer**


Voters in Taiwan have rejected same-sex marriage in a referendum, a setback to LGBT couples hoping their island will be the first country in Asia to let same-sex couples share child custody and insurance benefits.

The vote on Saturday, organised by Christian groups that make up about 5% of Taiwan’s population and advocates of the traditional Chinese family structure, contradicts a May 2017 constitutional court ruling. Justices told legislators then to make same-sex marriage legal within two years, a first for Asia, where religion and conservative governments normally keep the bans in place.

Although the ballot is advisory only, it is expected to frustrate lawmakers mindful of public opinion as they face the court deadline next year. Many legislators will stand for re-election in 2020.

“The legislature has lots of choices on how to make this court order take effect,” said referendum proponent Chen Ke, a Catholic pastor in Taiwan and an opponent of same-sex marriage.

Ruling party lawmakers backed by president Tsai Ing-wen had proposed legalising same-sex marriage in late 2016, but put aside their ideas to await the court hearing. Opposition to same-sex marriage crested*** after the court ruling. Opponents have held rallies and mobilised votes online.

Courts will still consider local marriage-licensing offices in violation of the law if they refuse same-sex couples until May 2019, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said last week.

“The referendum is a general survey, it doesn’t have very strong legal implications,” said Shiau Hong-chi, a professor of gender studies and communications management at Shih-Hsin University in Taiwan. “One way or another it has to go back to the court.”

Voters approved a separate measure on Saturday calling for a “different process” to protect same-sex unions. It is viewed as an alternative to using the civil code. A third initiative, also approved, asked that schools avoid teaching LGBT “education”.

Amnesty International told the government it needed to “deliver equality and dignity”.

“This result is a bitter**** blow and a step backwards for human rights in Taiwan,” Amnesty’s Taiwan-based acting director, Annie Huang, said. “However, despite this setback, we remain confident that love and equality will ultimately prevail.”

Taiwanese also elected candidates from the China-friendly opposition Nationalist party to a majority of mayoral and county magistrate posts, reversing the party’s losses in 2014.

China welcomed the defeat of Taiwan’s pro-independence ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) at the local elections, saying it showed people wanted peaceful relations with Beijing.

The vote dealt a major blow to President Tsai Ing-wen’s hopes of re-election in 2020, forcing her to quit as DPP leader as the Beijing-friendly main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) made gains in the face of China’s increasing pressure on the island.

Question 1

Give a definition of the following terms:


-Ballot: the method of secret voting by means of printed or written ballots or by means of voting machines.
-Survey: an examination of people on something, an opinion for example 
-Setback: a reverse movement
-Allegation: Affirmation

Question 2

What is the May 2017 court ruling?

It is a ruling to make same-sex marriage legal within two years in Taiwan.

Question 3

Who is the president of Taiwan and what is his/her opinion on Same-sex marriage?

The president of Taiwan is Tsai Ing-Wen, and she is in favor of LGBT marriage.

Question 4

What is the point of view of Amesty Internation on same-sex marriage?

Amesty International is in favor of same-sex marriage, and consider it as an evolution for the country, and Asia.

Question 5

What is the point of view of China on LGBT?

China is against LGBT people (it is prohibited in the country) and against same-sex marriage. They have a traditional view of the chinese family. 

Question 6

Who is the DPP and the KMT? Give for each group their point of view on same-sex marriage and on the relation between Taiwan and China.

The DPP, Democratic Progressive party, is the currently ruling party, it is a democratical party directed by the president Tsai Ing-Wen. The DPP is in favor of same-sex marriage and they consider Taiwan as independent, and not as a part of China.

The KMT, Kuomintang is the Beijing-friendly main opposition party. The party is against same-sex marriage and consider Taiwan as a part of China, and not independent. There is a huge tension between Taiwan and China, as China claims Taiwan in its territory.

Question 7

Explain why the legalization of same-sex marriage would be a progress in Taiwan.

The world is evolving and so are the mentalities. Same-sex marriage is well-established in Europe and other countries. Still, in Asia, LGBT minorities are not socially accepted, or worst, persecuted. The legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan would be a prouf that the region is positively evolving and the island could become a model to follow for other countries in the area.

Question 8

Explain the tittle of the article: "Taiwan votes down same-sex marriage as China welcomes midterm results".

The tittle is creating a contradiction between Taiwan and China. It is a satirical tittle. In fact, while Taiwan is voting for an important subject of progress, China is receiving midterm results, which shows how much China has a tradionnal approach on what matters. Midterms in China are really important and chinese students study a lot, as their lives were depending on it, which is basically the case, before high school grades will determine in which university you go, which will further determine which job you will get. On the other side, Taiwan is socially developping and making progress, trying to get out of the conservative traditional approach.