Taiwanese Reject Legalizing Same-Sex Unions in Referendum

Taiwan votes on gay marriage, controversial name change

Meanwhile, the issue of Taiwan's identity was also presented on the ballots as one of the 10 referendums.

Cross-strait ties, which had warmed up when the KMT's Mr Ma Ying-jeou was president, have taken a dive in the last two years.

Her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered defeats in local elections.

The largest city in the DPP's southern heartland has been governed by the party ever since 1998.

Of the 22 races, the DPP was left with six, including the special municipalities of Taoyuan and Tainan, Keelung and Hsinchu cities, and Chiayi and Pingtung counties.

At a brief news conference at DPP headquarters late Saturday, Tsai announced she was stepping down as DPP chair and said she had refused Premier William Lai's resignation, saying she wanted him to continue her reform agenda.

The spokesman said Taiwan's democratic institutions continued to serve as a role model for the entire region, and the U.S. looked forward to finding new ways to highlight Taiwan's positive example.

The main opposition Kuomintang (KMT), which oversaw an unprecedented thaw with Beijing before Tsai took office in 2016, made gains in the face of China's increasing pressure on the island, which it considers as part of its territory to be reunified.

And in a highly symbolic but potentially impactful referendum, voters were also asked whether they wish to compete in future global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei" - the name the island is required to use at China's insistence.

Since 2000, election results show the major Taiwanese parties have alternated in ruling for two terms, with power shifting every eight years.

Taiwan votes on gay marriage, controversial name change

In response to Taiwan's election results, the Party's mouthpiece newspaper People's Daily published a November 25 editorial on its official WeChat account, a social-media platform, stating that the DPP's defeat was to be expected because it represents "useless and terrifying ideologies". "We must study and accept the higher expectations of the people".

Results for the referendum votes may not come out until the early hours of Sunday morning, according to election officials.

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait have heightened recently with China conducting military drills around the island and snatching away Taiwan's dwindling number of diplomatic allies.

Rival China said the results reflected a desire of Taiwanese for better relations with the mainland.

The results prompted the island's president Tsai Ing-wen to resign as the DPP's chairwoman.

The Nationalists, known also as the KMT, had campaigned on their pro-business image and more accommodating line toward Beijing.

The referendums come as an extra headache for Tsai and the DPP.

Both were won by the China-friendly opposition, the Kuomintang, which once ruled China before fleeing to Taiwan at the end of a civil war with the Communists in 1949.

"Tsai has made a liberal, progressive society a big part of her appeals to the rest of the world to support Taiwan in juxtaposition to an increasingly repressive China". It was symbolic in nature, as the International Olympic Committee had ruled out a name change, which would be opposed by China.

Jennifer Lu, a spokeswoman for Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, said they were saddened by what she described as the "absurd referendums" and blamed government "incompetence" for allowing the anti-gay marriage votes to go ahead.

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