Taiwan to hold referendum on special law for same-sex marriage, says report

Taiwan's constitutional court had declared in May 2017 that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry.
Taiwan's constitutional court had declared in May 2017 that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry.PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - Taiwan will hold a public vote on whether the island's civil law should recognise same-sex marriage, two election officials told Reuters on Tuesday (Oct 9), reviving a debate over whether a separate law should be enacted for civil unions between gay couples.

Taiwan's constitutional court declared in May last year that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, and gave a two-year deadline for legalisation.

But an activist group submitted a petition in August to Taiwan's Central Election Commission, proposing a vote on the issue and asking for a separate law to be enacted for same-sex unions, something it said would defend "family values".

After a month-long review, the commission decided on Tuesday that the referendum would be held on November 24, the same day when the self-ruled island is set to hold mayoral and magisterial elections.