Taiwan’s president is battling a deluge of election-linked homophobic fake news

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01/06/2020

Taiwan is often described as Asia’s most gay-friendly place. It was, after all, the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. It boasts the biggest Pride event in the region and has a vibrant “pink” economy. It’s clear, however, that nearly eight months after same-sex marriage became legal, many in Taiwan remain deeply opposed to the law that grants “two persons of the same gender” the right to create a “permanent union.” Ahead of Saturday’s (Jan. 11) presidential and legislative elections, opponents of president Tsai Ing-wen are campaigning against her support for LGBT rights. Tsai publicly backed the law, tweeting #LoveWins the day it passed. Her opponents are disseminating homophobic false information to discredit Tsai’s record in office. One example is a post that has been circulating on Taiwan’s dominant chat app Line, and on Facebook. It asserts that Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spent NT$30 million ($980,000) organizing this year’s Pride parade in Taipei, and it features photos of scantily clad men. “Do you want your kids to be like this? Is this how you will cast your vote?” the post asks.

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