Twelve months after Australia’s postal survey, “yes” campaign group Australian Marriage Equality has raised close to $10,000 to help Taiwan supporters win same-sex marriage in their own looming public vote.
Last year, Taiwan’s top court ruled in favour of marriage equality – a historic first for Asia – and instructed authorities to enact laws legalising marriage equality within two years.
But now the country is facing a likely national public vote on the issue in November this year, after opponents petitioned to initiate a referendum to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
In response, Australian Marriage Equality has set up a crowdfunding campaign to help Taiwan’s own “yes” campaign with the “costly and difficult” public vote.
The Chuffed.org campaign set up by the group has almost reached its $10,000 target with 24 hours to go.
“Despite it being the government’s job to legislate for marriage equality, our Parliament put the relationships of LGBTIQ Australians to a public vote,” the group wrote on the campaign page.
“Thanks to you we won! But it wasn’t easy and we needed a lot of resources to win.”
“Equality opponents know these kinds of citizen votes are costly and difficult for equality supporters to win. That’s why they are pushing this strategy all over the world. They brought it here, and now they’ve imported it straight to Taiwan.”
Australian Marriage Equality campaigner and independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich said Australia “knew from our own experience just how distressing the misinformation put forward during these campaigns can be.”
“Taiwan was set to become the first place in Asia with marriage equality,” he told the Star Observer.
“But now due to political games being played and massive funds being pumped into the campaign against marriage equality, the opponents may actually succeed.
“For over a decade Australian Marriage Equality benefitted from international support to help us achieve reform, and now it’s our turn to pay it forward and return the favour.”