Will Taiwan Be the First Asian Country to Adopt Same-Sex ‘Marriage’?

Same-sex support and activities more prevalent in the island nation.

This photo taken on October 31, 2015 shows local residents taking part in the annual gay rights parade in Taipei. Taiwan's presidential elections in January are expected to usher in a new political era, and many hope it will also see the island become the first Asian power to legalize same-sex marriage.

By William M Briggs Published on December 28, 2016

Taiwan might be the first Asian country to fall to the Great Gay Juggernaut. Its government might follow the same path as many post-Christian Western governments and force its citizens to declare or pretend two men (or two women) may marry each other.

On 26 December, a second large rally in as many weeks supporting government-defined “marriage,” or gmarriage, was held in the capital city of Taipei. The rally coincided with a meeting of the country’s Legislative Yuan which was considering legislation to further the cause of gmarriage. The China Post (an English-language Taiwan-based paper) reported:

An amendment to the Civil Code was approved by a legislative committee Monday in a major step toward the legalization of same-sex marriage, as thousands-strong dueling demonstrators took place outside the Legislative Yuan.

After three hours, the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee approved the amendment proposed by ruling party Legislator Yu Mei-nu, which replaces “male and female parties” in the Civil Code’s marriage chapter with “two parties.”

This is not considered enough to ensconce a full-blown retreat from actual marriage. But words matter, as is understood by members of the “anti campaign.”

More than 110 demonstrators from the anti campaign were taped by the wrist by police officers after they broke through the police line and barged into the Legislative Yuan, attempting to interrupt the committee meeting.

This is interesting because these active counter-demonstrations were not often seen in the Western countries which adopted gmarriage, which is a signal that hope is not yet lost for Taiwan. Also, polls only show about 37% of Taiwanese support gmarriage, a number which has been dropping.

There is not much to be sanguine about, however. Only two weeks before the latest rally, on December 11th, another huge pro-gmarriage event was also held in Taipei. One report is as many as between 75,000 to 250,000 came.

A site called Pride Watch Taiwan keeps detailed statistics on the 113 members of the Legislative Yuan. As of this writing, 57.5% (or 65) of that body’s members have expressed support in one way or another for gmarriage. The support may have only been in public settings and not (yet) made official. Only 10.6% (or 12) of the members are openly opposed, with the rest remaining mute or supporting a version of civil partnerships.

A majority of the country’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 66.5% (or 46), are for gmarriage, while only 34.3% (or 12) of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) are for gmarriage. Historically, the KMT has been the more conservative party. It was also the first party after Chiang Kai-shek decamped to the island after being chased from the Chinese homeland by the murderous Mao Zedong. There is a rich and rough history of the KMT and Taiwan, so the usual left-right party breakdowns familiar in the USA don’t apply well in Taiwan.

Pride Watch also tracks which members of the Legislative Yuan call themselves Christian, of whom there are 12. Half of these are against gmarriage, and three are neutral or support civil partnerships. And three — curiously, since gmarriage is not justifiable or compatible with Christianity — are for it. All these three are in the DPP.

The country’s president since last January is Tsai Ing-wen, a DPP member and one-time college professor. Tsai is a confirmed bachelorette and cat fancier, and has said, “In the face of love, everyone is equal. Let everyone have the freedom to love and to pursue their happiness. I am Tsai Ing-wen, and I support marriage equality.” Speaking on the same day, but not at the 11 December rally, Tsai said, “Gay people also have the right to get married.”

It’s unclear whether Tsai has the charisma or the backing to carry the gmarriage policy forward. She was elected with a wide margin, but homosexual “rights” and gmarriage were not part of the platform she ran under. And though she was very popular immediately after her election, she ran into immediate troubles for failing to uphold her campaign promises, mostly involving vacation practices and treatment of cross-straight relations with China.

Because of her inconsistencies, she has come in for no small measure of teasing. Her family name “Tsai” mimics the sound of a popular, hollow-stalk vegetable, which has given rise to the nickname Kong Xin Tsai, or “empty-hearted vegetable” (proving insults are often culturally relative).

Correspondingly, her approval rating has been plummeting, and her mirror disapproval rating rising. This could mean she has to put her focus on more pressing matters and put homosexual matters on the side.

If Taiwan falls, it will be the first predominately Buddhist nation to embrace this denial of the nature of marriage . Thus far, only post-Christian countries have adopted gmarriage. Taiwan is largely Chinese in demographics and culture, with its corresponding history of Confucianism and its intense focus on family. That this is fading is important.

Maybe of most importance, is that Taiwan has crossed a secular threshold common in those Western nations that abandoned actual marriage, with some 18-20% of its adults saying they hold to no religion. These are similar percentages in those gmarriage nations which were once openly Christian.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Gary

    I won’t recognize a “marriage” between men, or between women no matter where it takes place.

  • Bob Caruthers

    Opposing same sex marriage in the West was like trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. The real damage to traditional marriage was dealt by the introduction of no-fault divorces.

    However under Article 1052 of the Civil Code, Taiwan does not allow no-fault divorces.

    • galatians328

      Well said. Gay marriage NEVER DID AND NEVER WILL hurt a Straight marriage. Straight people build healthy, successful marriages on their own and they destroy them on their own – by unfaithfulness, by adultery, by abuse, by violence, by abandonment, etc – just as they have done for thousands of years

    • Gary

      Opposing ssm is moral and the right thing to do. Ssm is not marriage. It is the perversion of marriage.

  • galatians328

    OBVIOUSLY, respect for the mutually supportive relationships of capable adults is a human right. And respect for any relationship that cares for others – the other partner, a child, a dependent adult, or others – is a God-given ‘natural right’.

    • Gary

      Baloney. God created marriage and it has only the definition God gave it. Every real marriage consists of a husband and a wife. Which is only possible if a man marries a woman.

      • galatians328


        Adam and Eve were NOT MARRIED. There was not marriage contract. There was no engagement ring. There was no bachelor or bachelorette party. There were no ‘just married’ balloons tied to the limousine outside the church/synagogue/temple/etc ,,,, was there?

        And, moreover, Adam was trans-gender since from his ‘male body a ‘female’ body was removed.

        • Gary

          The more you talk, the more you show your ignorance and your perversion.

        • Gary

          The Bible says Adam and Eve were married. It also says Adam was a male, and Eve was a female. You have been proven to be a liar. Again. How many times does this make?

          • galatians328

            Sorry. There is no text describing a wedding/marriage ceremonies. Rabbinical writers invent a story of a wedding/marriage ceremony: e.g. the rabbis ask ‘since Eve must have married Adam who did her hair for the wedding/marriage ceremony’? and answer ‘God must have done Eve’s hair’… thereby making God Eve’s hairdresser. The word used is ‘ishshah’. It may mean ‘women’, ‘wife’, ‘female’

            ishshah: woman, wife, female

            Original Word: נָשִׁים

            Part of Speech: Noun Feminine

            Transliteration: ishshah

            Phonetic Spelling: (ish-shaw’)

          • Joseph

            This response is actually for galatians328.If Adam was a transgender as you say. then why doesn’t the Bible describe him as transgender but always male? that is because Adam was MALE and also the Bible doesn’t say marriage can be for anyone. it says marriage is the union of one man and one woman, it never says marriage can for two men and two men too.

          • Joseph

            Adam was obviously male but the LGBT loves to infect everything they touch and make it LGBT too. they want to completely erase the straightness of the Bible

        • Joseph

          If Adam was a transgender as you say. then why doesn’t the Bible describe him as transgender but always male? that is because Adam was MALE, the creator made them male and female in the beginning not transgender and female or male and female and transgender but male and female and also the Bible doesn’t say marriage can be for anyone. it says marriage is the union of one man and one woman, Man and woman only, it never says marriage can be for two men and two men too.

          • galatians328

            Without doubt the ‘woman’ was trans-formed out of genetic material of the ‘man’ …. a variety of ‘trans-gender’

          • Joseph

            That doesn’t answer my question. Where does the Bible describe Adam as transgender?

        • Joseph

          That doesn’t answer my question. where in the Bible does it refer to Adam as being transgender? where does it refer to Eve as being transgender? don’t you think that if either of them were transgender the Bible would have called them transgender? Adam is always referred to as a male and Eve as a woman. so where did you get this idea that Adam was transgender?

        • Ken Abbott

          Oh, this does extreme violence to the biblical witness (Genesis 2:25 speaks of “the man and his wife” and Jesus referred explicitly to this language when he answered the Pharisees on marriage and divorce–see Matthew 19). How can you be taken seriously when you post things like this?

          • galatians328

            SO, you agree then, that marriage does not require a contract or mutual consent or agreement of any sort? That there need be no symbols or commitments (rings, oaths, etc) exchanged? That no witnesses or social confirmation under law are needed? … Because the text describes none of these.

            In which case why would you support civil marriage of any sort? Much less religious marriage?

            And re: an inventive use of the work ‘trans-gender’ …. for a male body that provided genetic material to build cells lines, organs, and body parts for a female – or indeed that are manipulated to become genetically female …. oh well, .. you haven’t kept up to date on genetic science.

          • Ken Abbott

            This is just silly. “Whom God has joined together…” remember? God is the author of marriage. All the rest is human convention, things we do to recognize the solemnity of the relationship within our communities. And you’re arguing from silence when you state that the text describes none of these things. So it doesn’t, but what of that?

            The matter of civil recognition of marriage is something else altogether. The state decided very long ago it has a vested interest in marriage from the standpoint of child welfare, property rights, taxation, legal decision-making, etc.

            Rest assured, sir, I am knowledgeable in genetic science. Don’t bark up that tree.

          • galatians328

            The conclusion from our various points might be:

            – that the Biblical evidence from the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis is that marriage – since you wish to call their relationship ‘marriage’ – is only an arrangement made by God directly

            – religious marriage MIGHT be meet that test ONLY if God makes the arrangement directly! there would be not ‘romantic love’ or attraction required and not even consent would be required. Certainly no vows or oaths, license or agreement, or other social testimony would be required. God’s direct intervention to arrange the relationship would be required. And in fact in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition the marriage is NOT what the priest or church does, and certainly not what the state does; it is only that the two have been drawn together by God

            – civil marriage: obviously entirely unnecessary from the Biblical witness in Genesis. But you can make many different reasonable arguments, from social science, from moral inquiry, etc that civil society should have laws, regulations, and rules for civil marriage. What might those be?

      • FO

        The galatian guy trolls this site, you may have to ignore him

  • Patmos

    “In the face of love, everyone is equal. Let everyone have the freedom to love and to pursue their happiness.”

    Lust and sexual perversion have nothing to do with love.

    • Fishcicle

      I don’t feel competent to judge who is perverted and who is not, especially when I recall what Jesus said about judging. You must be a more knowledgeable person than I am.

      • Patmos

        “I don’t feel competent”

        Maybe you should read scripture more, instead of just looking for justification for sin, that way you’d learn that while Jesus did not condemn he also said, “Go forth and sin no more”.

        Understand, people were getting ready to stone the adulterous woman to death, but Jesus showed her mercy instead. He showed it not as a justification for her actions, but as a way to help her out of sin and into the love of Christ.

        Point being, you are confusing “judgement” for “condemnation” and as a consequence are throwing away the power of discernment. The grace of God was never meant to be a license to sin, though some like yourself have turned it that way.

        “The love of Christ constraineth me,” Paul wrote. Furthermore, Jeremiah prophesied that the law would be written on the hearts of believers.

        That is to say, God’s love will keep you from sin, and serve as a far better covenant than the law. For by choosing God’s love you will find peace, and joy unspeakable and full of glory. You will have no more desire to sin.

        • Fishcicle

          On the other hand, how do you feel about eating shellfish and making garments out of more than one kind of fabric? Both of those are also condemned in the Bible.

      • Gary

        You don’t have to. God has already judged what is perverted. Your problem seems to be accepting what God has said.

  • Joseph

    ”Born this way” is nowhere found in the Bible and ”love is love” is also not found in the Bible. the never describes homosexuality is an act of love but as an act of perversion and lust. do you want to know why so many people have supported this perversion over the years? because of these two things. the born that way lie and the love is love lie. ”God made them that way and I am no going to be against someone the way God made them” guess what?? God DIDN’T make them that way. the Bible condemns homosexuality so now you’re going to tell me that God made these people that way? and where in the Bible does it ever call homosexuality love? it doesn’t. this is not love this is perversion and no one is born that way. it is not scientifically backed nor biblical backed. it is perversion masqueraded around as love.

    • Fishcicle

      What did Jesus say about that? And why would anyone want to practice homosexual acts if they didn’t have such desires? And why would any other person’s desires affect you in any way? I don’t recall ever feeling I had any choice about my sexual orientation. Do you have a choice in yours?

      • Gary

        Jesus endorsed the condemnation of homosexuality found in the Mosaic Law. God has rules about sexual behavior that everyone must follow, or face the negative consequences.

        • galatians328

          SORRY, we do not know of any record of Jesus saying anything about affectionate attractions of men toward men or women toward women. Please produce that evidence. Thank you.

        • Fishcicle

          I don’t recall Jesus saying anything specific about homosexuality. And he DID prevent the crowd from stoning the adultress, which I don’t think was the course of action recommended by Mosaic law.

I Am No Angel, He Said
Bobby Neal Winters
More from The Stream
Connect with Us