This was an unfair battle of referendums. What we faced was a monster with a war chest of hundreds of millions of dollars that were used in brainwashing campaigns to promote bias, fear and even hatred towards LGBITQ people in Taiwan. Even though the anti-gay referendums passed, we would still like to remind the Executive Yuan to safeguard Constitutional order and to protect the freedom to marry of LGBTIQ citizens based on the last year’s Constitutional Interpretation before the May 24, 2019 deadline.
In response to the results of the referendums, we have some points to make as the following:
1. In the face of the brainwashing campaigns by the anti-gay groups, the LGBTIQ community in Taiwan has demonstrated solidarity and courage to win the support of over three million people with life and love.
When the anti-gay groups created all kinds of misinformation and lies with massive amount of money and resources, the LGBTIQ community was not afraid but continued to communicate with the society with a firmer, more rational and truly courageous voice. We believe that every veto of the anti-gay referendums is a definite “no” against such malevolence. Every “yes” vote is a true support to the LGBTIQ community. Even if we failed to surpass the anti-gay groups in votes this time, we won’t stop our movement to promote gender equity education and marriage equality. The world will become a better place. The borders of love will be expanded. And justice will eventually prevail for LGBTIQ people in Taiwan.
2. We call on the Executive Yuan to abide by the spirit of J.Y. Interpretation No. 748 to propose a draft bill that fulfills the requirements of “freedom to marry” and “equal protection of the rights” to be reviewed by the public.
We regret the humiliation suffered by the LGBTIQ community today. This didn’t need to happen. The initial reason the Grand Justices decided to review the case of marriage equality was to avoid the social discrimination toward LGBTIQ for being a minority in the population. Such legal protection is not attainable through common democratic procedures. However, the weak willpower of the ruling party in Taiwan has resulted in the LGBTIQ becoming a target of epic discrimination as we saw today. We condemn the ruling party for their inaction and urge the ruling party not to propose a draft bill that deviates from the Constitutional Interpretation based on unlawful and biased results of the anti-gay referendums. We would like to stress that the referendums regarding marriage equality (No. 10 and No. 12) today were merely about the creation of legal principles whose results cannot surpass the Constitutional Interpretation from last year.
3. We condemn the anti-gay groups that disguise themselves as family-loving opponents that repeatedly take advantage of the democratic system to limit the possibilities and room for rational discussion.
This has seriously undermined the efforts in the democratic progress in Taiwan’s history. Ever since the anti-gay referendum draft bills passed the preliminary review in April this year, the anti-gay groups tried every possible and scurrilous means to stop LGBTIQ to marry legally and even risked subverting the democratic system by creating fake news, obtaining signatures illegally, and establishing “fake” opponents’ offices to exclude the real opponents from being represented at public debates. Even in the public debates, the anti-gay groups continued to spread lies, misleading information and pseudoscience such as “vagina is germ free” to the public. They even lobbied voters illegally on the day of referendum. The number of illegal cases reported exceeded several thousands.
Anti-gay groups eradicated rational reasoning to fulfill their own purposes based on bias rooted in their religious views. Democracy is merely a tool for them to fulfill such a goal.
We know that the anti-gay groups would consider the results of the referendums as a major victory. However, the so-called “victory” is based on a massive amount of lies and money, which will further serve as political pressure to be exerted on politicians to belittle LGBTIQ and further deprive them of their lawful rights. We pledge to use love to counter hate, use wisdom to shatter lies and to continue courageously making strides towards marriage equality, until it is fully realized.