Taiwan minister rejects Chinese media attempts to claim credit for same-sex marriage bill

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu puts the record straight and responds by emphasizing Taiwan’s sovereignty and president’s role in signing off on legislation

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Chinese state-owned newspaper People’s Daily has experienced significant pushback on Twitter for attempting to claim jurisdiction over Taiwan by bafflingly taking credit for the country’s new same-sex marriage legislation.

The newspaper wrote, “Local lawmakers in #Taiwan, China, have legalized same-sex marriage in a first for Asia, according to local media reports.” In the Friday (May 17) tweet there was a gif of three couples with different gender combinations, seemingly showing support for same-sex marriage.

“WRONG!” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Twitter in response to the newspaper’s tweet. Wu added “the bill was passed by our national parliament [and] will be signed by the president soon.”

Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan voted on part of a bill that would allow gay couples to apply for marriage registration, making it the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriages. The accomplishment has been widely applauded as an historic improvement of human rights by international media outlets.

Online discussions of the exchange focused on Taiwan’s independent sovereignty and democratic system, contrasted with China’s authoritarian regime and poor rights record.

China does not recognize same-sex marriage nor civil unions. Furthermore, Chinese authorities have been increasing restrictions on its LGBTQ community, banning rainbow signs and celebrations for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, according to Agence France-Presse.