People’s human rights should not hinge on a popular vote. But that’s exactly what is happening in Taiwan, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are at risk. Ironically, the latest threat stems from a huge victory for LGBT people in Taiwan. In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court declared as unconstitutional the definition of marriage as being “between a man and a woman.” The court gave parliament two years to amend existing laws or pass new legislation to include same-sex marriage. But in an attempt to circumvent the ruling, the group Alliance for Next Generation’s Happiness collected sufficient signatures to trigger a referendum on whether to allow same-sex marriage. Fundamental human rights are at stake, and the public rhetoric has been corrosive. “The collapse of the family system will deal a huge blow to society,” said a spokesperson for the alliance.
October 10 / Human Rights Watch