Written by Yu-lien Cheng. 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. However, the long process of fighting for marriage equality was not without objections inside the LGBTQ+ social movement. In the 2014 Taiwan Nine-in-One Election, there was a new party called “Poor Queer Political Equality Party” (貧窮同志參政團， PQPEP ) whose main goal is improving the life quality of precarious gay people. The appearance of PQPEP highlighted a paradox: there were already many precarious gay people searching for help, but in the past twenty years, there has been hardly any LGBTQ+ NGO in Taiwan that stated “class” or “precarity” as its main focus.
Written by Yen-hsin Alice Cheng. While family and social values are gradually becoming more liberal, more substantial changes in socially acceptable behaviours require more time. Hence, in addition to policies promoting childbearing, the Taiwanese Government should also consider how to sustain or improve citizens well-being, regardless of their union status, in an ultra-low fertility context. Research on the obstacles to fertility in East Asia mostly studied the married population, yet obstacles to marriage among the single population are perhaps equally important in this region.
Written by Brian Hioe. The bill to legalize gay marriage cleared its third reading on May 17th, 2019, with gay marriage becoming legal on May 24th. However, there were some gaps in the scope of the bill. If a Taiwanese person wishes to marry a foreigner of the same sex, that foreigner must be from a country that has also legalized gay marriage. Likewise, foreign same-sex couples are not able to get married in Taiwan if one of them is from a country that has not legalized gay marriage. To this extent, same-sex couples who both come from countries that have not legalized gay marriage cannot get married in Taiwan.
Written by Timothy Rich, Isabel Eliassen, Andi Dahmer and Carolyn Brueggemann. We ask to what extent has the public’s view on same-sex marriage changed in recent years and to what extent this influenced the 2020 election? The 2018 local elections clearly indicated a shift in the political saliency of the issue of same-sex marriage legislation over the past several years, while Tsai’s re-election with a continued Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative majority would suggest that opposition to the issue has declined in salience.
Written by Jens Damm. I argue that Taiwanese society’s movement towards the acceptance of human rights as global values, multiculturalism, the rights of individuals etc. is intrinsically linked to the development of a Taiwanese identity (based what Habermas called a Verfassungspatriotismus) as used to assert Taiwan’s international status. Taiwanese LGBTQ rights could thus act as a signifier of Taiwan’s democratisation with the aim of achieving soft power and opposing any form of a ‘one China policy’.
Written by Ibtisam Ahmed. Pride season in 2019 has brought some extraordinary victories for the global LGBTQ+ community. Bhutan is on the cusp of decriminalising homosexuality after an overwhelming vote in the lower house repealed its anti-sodomy law. The judiciary in Botswana has overturned a colonial-era penal code clause that criminalised homosexuality, continuing the recent trend of queer liberation through decolonisation. Ecuador has become the latest South American country to recognise same-sex marriage.
Written by Hongwei Bao. The celebration of marriage equality in Taiwan serves as a true inspiration for LGBTQ communities in other parts of Asia. What can we learn from the Taiwan experience? Quite a lot, actually, and I wish to highlight the following aspects…
Written by Queer in the World. There’s always something exciting about visiting a place that is constantly changing and progressing, and Taiwan definitely fits the bill. The LGBT scene in particular is very exciting and we totally believe in supporting a country that’s so far ahead of its neighbours in terms of gay rights.
Written by Mei-Nu Yu and Yiching Yang. We passed the law on 17 May – the International Day Against Homophobia. Taiwan has proven that we are a country supporting diversity and gender equality, and we are now the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.
Written by Ya-chen Chen. Although there are many English-language academic books about Taiwan, those exclusively focusing on Taiwanese gender issues could probably be counted on the fingers of one’s hand. This is most likely due to the tendency for many feminists or gender scholars to frequently place Taiwanese gender issues under the huge umbrella of Mainland Chinese, Communist Chinese or PRC women’s and gender studies.
Written by Paris Shih. The gay history of Jolin Tsai was not only a gay thing. It was also a generational thing. For every Taiwanese gay man growing up in the late 90s and the early 2000s, there was a Jolin Tsai. It was both personal and political, individual and communal.
Written by Tim Rich, Isabel Eliassen and Andi Dahmer. Despite signs of LGBT support in Taiwan, many analysts and commentators ignored the number of Taiwanese who had no set opinion on same-sex marriage and LGBT rights and overlooked the role that issue-framing plays in political contests.