Taiwan voters reject same-sex marriage in referendum

Gay Marriages To be or Not to Be Taiwan Decides

In May 2017, the Council of Grand Justices in Taipei ordered that legislation be adopted within the next two years to enshrine marriage equality into law.

"Rather than thinking that Saturday's results were because the KMT did a good job in opposition, it is more accurate to say they were due to voters' overwhelmingly negative perception of the DPP", Eric Yu of National Chengchi University's Election Study Center was quoted as saying in the Taipei Times on Monday.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen late on Saturday announced her resignation as the head of Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, after enduring a "crushing defeat" in the local government elections.

The DPP lost control of the mayoralties in Taiwan's second-most populous city Taichung and the key battleground of Kaohsiung in the south, which it held for two decades and played a central role in Taiwan's pro-democracy movement in the 1970s.

Some voters believe Tsai hasn't done enough to lift Taiwan's economy despite data that points to improvement, said Raymond Wu, managing director of political risk consultancy e-telligence in Taipei. The island is actually independent, but is not recognized internationally, because China claims it.

The marriage issue was actually the subject of three separate referendums on Saturday, which were put forward by rival camps.

Voters looked set to back a referendum defining marriage as between and a man and a woman, dealing a sharp blow to Taiwan's position as a bastion of liberalism in Asia.

"Cross-Straits communication and cooperation between local governments are expected to be strengthened as a result of the election, which will bring more opportunities and help deepen mutual understanding", it wrote.

The final blow on a shocking night for the DPP and numerous liberals and progressives who carried it into power came with the news that Taiwan - considered to be one of Asia's most progressive societies - had overwhelmingly voted against the legalization of same-sex marriage under the civil code.

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However, a spokesman on Sunday was quick to cite the election results as evidence that Taiwanese were becoming fed up with Tsai's approach.

Ahead of the vote, Tsai and DPP officials repeatedly accused China of meddling in the lead-up to the elections by operating a "fake news" campaign.

The pro-China former ruling party, Kuomintang (KMT) made gains, taking 15 of the 22 cities and counties up for grabs.

Almost 21,000 candidates were vying for 11,000 elected positions, from mayors to city councillors and township chiefs.

Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have faced a mounting backlash over domestic reforms including pension cuts, as well as concerns about deteriorating ties with China, which still sees self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified.

Taiwan's Investigation Bureau also said it is probing Chinese influence on the elections through campaign funding of candidates.

The KMT differs from the DPP in one area of policy - an area that can be identified as much of the present economic woes that are afflicting the nation - and that is its turbulent relationship with mainland China.

Tsai must mind members of her party who advocate formal independence from China - more than today's widely supported de facto autonomy and a red line for Beijing.

"The public have used their ballots to tell the governing authorities what is the mainstream opinion and the result represents a victory for all people who cherish family values and how such values should be taught in schools to the young generation", he said.

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