News Round-Up: November 2, 2020

Mike Taveira (photo: David-Simon Dayan)

Some news items you might have missed:

CNBC: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case concerning the rights of LGBTQ Americans on Wednesday morning in a dispute that advocates are warning could pierce holes in the nation’s anti-discrimination laws. Arguments, which will take place just a day after the presidential election, will mark the first major fight to come before Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was sworn in a week ago.

Instinct Magazine: Taiwan held one of the few Pride Parades this year as nearly 130,000 people gathered to march, dance, and visit a Rainbow Market of 100 LGBTQ-owned or supportive businesses/organizations. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, other countries have gone without Pride events this year, but Taiwan has not had a reported diagnosis of COVID-19 since April. In total, the country has had only 554 recorded cases and only seven deaths nationwide.

Out Music: Out recording artist Mike Taveira (top image) offers his new single, “Karma.” An uber-catchy pop-bop groove, Taveira calls the track “the breakup anthem for anyone who feels like their ex has yet received the karma they deserve.”

“I do believe in karma and I do believe she is coming,” says Taveira. “She just likes to wait for the perfect timing and I was impatient, which led to the song.”

The Advocate: Parliament House, the iconic Orlando nightclub that has been serving central Florida’s LGBTQ+ population for 45 years, is closing, though the owners say it’s not a permanent closure. In a Facebook post, they tried to get the money for much-needed renovations, but they sadly couldn’t reach their goal.

The Signorile Report: Michelangelo takes a look at what it will take for a President Joe Biden to get The Equality Act passed in his first 100 days as promised.

KIT212: I’m catching up on Kenneth’s weekly round-up of LGBTQ publications like DNA Magazine’s 250th issue featuring cover model Julian Gabriel (below).

(image via DNA Magazine)

Taiwan Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriage

Taiwan celebrates marriage equality

In a groundbreaking vote, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage on May 17th.

The decision comes two years after Taiwan passed the constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry reports BBC. The ruling comes just a week before the deadline to make a decision on May 24th.

Thousands gathered in Taipei anxiously awaiting the ruling.

Last November, 72% of the country voted against same-sex marriage in a referendum, but this did not interfere with the court’s decision for the vote.

Parliament voted between several bills that define same-sex marriage in different ways.

One bill proposed a “same-sex familial relationship,” with partners being called “same-sex family members.” The other bill aimed to call same-sex marriage a “same-sex union” with partners referred to as “domestic partners.”

The bill will officially recognize same-sex unions as marriages, just as they do with heterosexual couples, and define partners as spouses.

The bill will also allow same-sex couples to adopt each other’s biological children, but will not give the right to adopt non-biological children.

Same-sex marriages will begin being performed on May 24th. Over 200 couples have reportedly already registered to be married on that day.

Congratulations to Taiwan and all their LGBTQ+ citizens! May other Asian countries follow suit very soon!

(Source: Instinct)

Judicial Secretary-General Confirms Marriage Equality Will Come To Taiwan By May 2019

Citizens in Taiwan celebrate 2017 ruling by Constitutional Court on marriage equality
(image via Instagram)

As I reported on November 24, Taiwan citizens overwhelmingly voted ‘no’ via public referendum to amend the country’s Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage.

The anti-LGBTQ forces have since informed their supporters that the results of the referendum put a stop to the possibility of marriage equality in Taiwan. In fact, some international news outlets have repeated those claims.

Wrong.

As Taiwan News reports, the country’s Judicial Secretary-General, Lu Tai-lang, addressed the Judiciary and Organic Laws committee of the Legislative Yuan today clarifying that public referendums do not override the Constitutional Court’s 2017 ruling on same-sex marriage.

On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s highest court ruled that provisions that “do not allow two persons of the same sex to create a permanent union of intimate and exclusive nature for the purpose of living a common life” violate people’s right to equality and freedom of marriage under articles 7 and 22 of constitutional law.

The court gave Taiwan’s lawmakers two years to decide not if but how to implement legal same-sex marriage.

Per the Constitutional Court’s ruling, should Taiwan’s Parliament fail to arrive at a legislative solution by May 24, 2019, same-sex marriage will automatically become the law of the land.

Taiwan’s lawmakers have been locked in a stalemate on what approach to take in legalizing same-sex marriage – should it be realized through changes to the Civil Code, or via brand new legislation?

Conservative lawmakers don’t approve of writing marriage equality into their Civil Code. But LGBTQ advocates say a separate marriage law, similar to the UK’s Civil Partnership Act, would fail to provide true equal rights.

Taiwan, perhaps the most liberal country in the Asian region in terms of LGBTQ visibility, recently hosted over 130,000 participants in their Pride Parade.

Podcast: Marriage Equality In Taiwan & Bermuda, Threats Against Boston Bars, 1st Same-Sex Kiss On Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

In this week’s podcast:

* A teenager is arrested for making threats of violence to two gay bars in Boston

* Taiwan overwhelmingly says ‘no’ to amending their civil code to include marriage equality

* The Trump administration is trying to take it’s ban on transgender military service members to the Supreme Court

* The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade made history with its first same-sex kiss

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report

Taiwan Votes ‘No’ On Amending Constitution To Allow Same-Sex Marriage

Taiwan Pride 2018 (image via Instagram)

Results from the LGBTQ referendums held on Nov. 24 in Taiwan are in, and by a disappointing lop-sided vote, the Civil Code will remain unchanged in terms of same-sex marriage, reports The Taipei News.

As a result, the legal recognition of same-sex committed relationships will have to take place through the passing of new legislation.

On Case 10, the people of Taiwan voted to maintain the definition of marriage in the Civil Code to be between a man and a woman by a lop-sided vote of 7,260,573 to 2,736,508.

Case 11, which asked whether the Ministry of Education should repeal LGBT inclusive portions of the Enforcement Rules for Gender Equality Education Act in elementary and middle schools, also saw a defeat for the LGBTQ community as the ‘yes’ votes totaled 6,709,178 to 3,227,902.

Case 12 asked if there should be a separate, unequal status for same-sex couples. Taiwanese voters were clear voting 6,056,036 in the affirmative to 3,854,161 dissenting votes.

Case 14 asked if voters wanted to change the Civil Code to offer same-sex marriage. Voters said no.

Case 15 asked if schools should teach all students about ‘gender equality, emotional education, sex education and same-sex education’. Voters said no.

Taiwan’s high court ruled in May 2017 that it was unconstitutional for same-sex couples to be banned from marriage, and gave the government two years to find a legislative solution. Due to disagreements within Taiwan’s parliament, legislation to legalize same-sex marriage stalled.

Taiwan’s parliament has remained deadlocked on a solution as the main point of contention is whether same-sex marriage should be legalized through changes to the Civil Code, or via entirely new legislation. The more conservative factions of Taiwan don’t favor amending the Civil Code.

Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom To Marry, which led to fight for marriage equality in the U.S. issued this statement:

“Tonight, we send our support to advocates and families in Taiwan who are hurting after a disappointing election result.

“Over the last year, anti-LGBT organizations—bankrolled and instigated by US-based groups like the National Organization for Marriage—spent millions on scare tactics and deceit, in an effort to spread lies about gay and lesbian people and harm families.

“While the results of the referenda are not what we hoped for, it is clear that the movement for marriage in Taiwan will not be deterred.

“Nothing about tonight’s votes undermines the landmark court ruling affirming that the freedom to marry is a right guaranteed by Taiwan’s Constitution. And nothing changes the clear mandate from the Court: That by May 2019, lawmakers must update the civil code to allow same-sex couples to marry.”

Last month, over 130,000 participants took part in Taiwan’s Pride Parade, the largest LGBTQ celebration in Asia.

Taiwan’s Highest Court Rules In Favor Of Marriage Equality

(image via Instagram)

Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage thanks to the nation’s highest court.

From South China Morning Post:

Taiwan’s top court, the Council of Grand Justices, ruled in favour of gay marriage on Wednesday, paving the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalise gay unions.

The ruling by a panel of 14 grand justices in Taipei said the current law that barred same-sex marriage was a violation of the constitution, as everybody – regardless of gender – should enjoy the same marriage rights.

Lu Tai-lang, secretary general of the Council of Grand Justices, said authorities must revise the civil code within two years to bring about the legislative change. “Even if the authorities fail to revise the law at the end of the two-year period, gay couples can always register with local household offices to make their marriage legal and they will enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples do,” Lu said.

The court ruling said disallowing same-sex marriage to safeguard the social order had “no rational basis” and was incompatible with the spirit of equality.

The court has ordered the country’s parliament to amend or enact new laws to accommodate marriage equality within two years. LGBT activists hope to accomplish the task before the end of the year.

Podcast: Bette Midler On Broadway, RuPaul Gets His Own “Origins” TV Series

In this week’s headlines on The Randy Report podcast:

• Reports say Bette Midler’s performance in Hello, Dolly! on Broadway is a killer, and that was almost the truth

• An 18 year old gay rodeo cowboy says he’s not going to be corralled back into the closet

• RuPaul is getting his own “origins” TV series

• Gloria Gaynor is headed to the Library of Congress

• Taiwan could be the first nation in Asia to legalize marriage equality

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report. Hit play below.


Click here to subscribe to The Randy Report podcast on iTunes for free.

Taiwan’s Constitutional Court Hears Arguments For Marriage Equality

A panel of 14 judges will hear a case today that could make Taiwan the first country in Asia to legalize marriage equality.

Veteran gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei and the Taipei city government filed the petitions with the Constitutional Court asking for a ruling on whether Taiwan’s civil code, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman, is constitutional.

The ruling, expected within two months, would be legally binding. If the law is found to be unconstitutional, Taiwan’s parliament would have to change the laws to accommodate same-sex couples.

President Tsai Ing-wen has previously said she would support marriage equality.

McDonalds Taiwan Ad Features Son Coming Out To Dad

A new ad spot from McDonalds Taiwan has gotten a lot of attention for it’s depiction of a young man coming out to his father.

The short video shows a young man passing his coffee cup to his dad. Written on the side of the cup – “I like boys.”

The stern father looks upset and leaves his son at the table. But soon, the father returns, picks up his son’s cup of coffee, and adds to the son’s written comment so that it reads, “I accept that you like boys.”

As warm and fuzzy as it is, some folks on the religious right in Taiwan are not happy about the commercial.

From Business Insider:

The Facebook video has now been viewed more than 3.6 million times, with the original post gaining more than 92,000 likes, and 11,800 shares.

However, not all viewers support the ad’s heartwarming message.

The secretary general of the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family, Chang Shou-yi, has called for a McDonald’s boycot following the ad, reports Shanghaiist.

“Because McDonald’s is frequented by many children, it is especially important to oppose the promotion of same-sex behavior,” Chang said in a statement on the ad. The Alliance “rebukes and boycotts all enterprises that are polluting the next generation.”

Despite the hate, social media response to the ad has been overwhelmingly positive, both in Shanghai and as it has crossed over to Western media outlets.

Taiwan is considered one of the most progressive countries in Asia. While same-sex marriage is not yet legal there, recent polling shows over 70% support marriage equality.


Taiwan Government To Introduce Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

Could Taiwan become the first region in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage?

From The Global Times:

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage in June, judicial authorities in Taiwan announced recently that they decided to draft a same-sex partnership law consistent with the global trend and changing public opinion.

They said when polls show that the region’s population is ready, a gay marriage law will be drafted.

Lo Ying-hsueh, head of Taiwan’s judicial body, said the government will put related bills on an online voting platform with the result to serve as a reference for the legislature, the Taiwan-based United Daily News reported Sunday.

A poll conducted by judicial authorities in 2013 shows that more than 53 percent support same-sex marriage.