TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- When asked to comment on the passage of Taiwan's landmark law legalizing same-sex marriage, Foxconn founder and prospective Kuomingtang (KMT) presidential candidate Terry Gou (郭台銘) lamented that the government did not take into account last year's referendum results.
On Friday (May 17) Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage after 66 of 93 present legislators voted in favor of four key articles guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marry. When news broke of the law's passage, Gou, who was on a tour of industries in Hualien's Shoufeng Township, was asked by reporters what he thought of the new legislation.
Gou gave the following terse reply according to CNA:
"It is a pity that the resulting amendment did not comply with the substance of the referendum, but the Legislative Yuan has its functions and powers. Now that the law has been enacted, we are a country ruled by law, and I respect it."
However, Gou's statement is factually incorrect as the government's action was indeed in response to referendums on gay marriage which passed in last November's elections.
Proposition 10 stated: "Do you agree that marriage defined in the Civil Code should be restricted to the union between one man and one woman?" Proposition 12 stated: "Do you agree to the protection of the rights of same-sex couples in co-habitation on a permanent basis in ways other than changing of the Civil Code?"
In fact, Taiwan's Cabinet honored these referendums by not changing the Civil Code as was originally planned. Instead, the Cabinet and the Legislative Yuan have passed legislation the enables same-sex couples to wed without changing the definition of marriage in the Civil Code and offers rights to cohabiting same-sex couples while not altering the Civil Code.