Catholics cast doubt on Taiwan’s gay marriage poll

(UCAN) A Taiwan Ministry of Justice poll on granting marriage rights to gay couples has drawn tens of thousands of positive responses since its launch early this month. But some Catholics have criticized the poll saying it is far from an accurate representation of popular opinion.

More than 27,000 people, representing 70 percent of respondents, have voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage since the 90-day poll was posted Aug. 3.

The three questions asked are: “Do you agree to implementing a same-sex marriage law”, “Do you agree to implementing a same-sex partnership law” and “Do you agree to giving homosexuals a relationship that’s ‘similar to a marriage’ or ‘marriage’ through legislation to protect their rights and legal status?”

Taipei legislators have been drafting same-sex marriage bills in the wake of a United States Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in every state. Should the bills pass, Taiwan would be the first in Asia to legalize gay marriage.

While the response has been heavily in favor of legalization, some voters say loopholes in the online poll paint an inaccurate picture.

Father Otfried Chan, secretary-general of the bishops’ conference in Taiwan, told that he doubted whether the poll could fully reflect the opinions of Taiwanese people if no verification of citizenship is required. “So even foreigners can determine the future of Taiwan,” he said.

The poll requires only an email address or Facebook page to cast a vote. [More]