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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Amanda Casanova

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

Taiwan has approved same-sex marriage, becoming the first in Asia.

Friday, the Taiwan legislature will allow full marriage rights to same-sex couples, according to CBN News.

The Taiwan Constitutional Court ruled in May 2017 that the constitution allows same-sex marriages, and it gave parliament two years to adjust laws if needed.

The new law will go into effect May 24, according to CNN.

The island of Taiwan reportedly has a large gay community and even hosts an annual gay pride event. However, in November 2018, the country tried to pass a referendum approving same-sex marriage. Nearly 70 percent of voters rejected the referendum.

But this week, Taiwanese lawmakers voted on a Cabinet bill to approve same-sex marriages.

Wu Tzu-an, a gay activist from Taipei, said the vote was the “best” result for the country.

"It's also a sign to show that Taiwan was different from China," he added, referring to mainland China where same-sex marriage has not been legalized. "Personally I don't have plans to get married, but I think it's a sign for equality."

Xiaogang Wei, who is the leader of the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute, said the bill is historic.

"It will have a very positive impact on China's LGBT community, offering us a lot of hope," he told CNN.

"The Chinese government has pointed to cultural tradition as a reason for same-sex marriage being unsuitable in China. But the decision in Taiwan, which shares a cultural tradition with us, proves that Chinese culture can be open, diverse and progressive."

Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights executive director, Victoria Hsu, said she hopes heterosexual families will see the bill doesn’t mean they “lose anything.”

Also commenting on the vote was Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who tweeted, "We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country."

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

The executive director of the Chick-fil-A foundation says the restaurant and organization does not condone homophobic views.

Chick-fil-A has faced criticism recently for what critics are calling “homophobic” views and giving funds to “anti-gay groups.”

According to Business Insider, Rodney Bullard, the executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, said the restaurant’s founder, Truett Cathy, and his family isn’t trying to discriminate.

"There's a calling to help people, and I think at times that has been confused with a calling, somehow, to exclude. And that's not the case," Bullard said. "The focus, the phrase 'every child' — we're very intentional about that. We do have programs and we look for programs that are inclusive as well to help every child."

Critics say Chick-fil-A has made donations to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Both organizations have in the past showed opposition to same-sex relationships.

Bullard, however, said that Chick-fil-A donations have specifically gone to programs such as summer camps for inner-city children.

Business Insider also asked Bullard if Chick-fil-A would ever consider working with an LGBT organization. 

Bullard responded, "Would it be authentic for us to partner with that organization? For them to partner with us? And for us to get work done? I think those are the things that we would definitely consider and be mindful of," Bullard said. "Would we do it just for reasons that weren't authentic? No, we wouldn't do that."

In 2012, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said the company supported “the biblical definition of the family unit.” The company had previously donated millions to groups that opposed same-sex marriage

The company no longer makes donations to political groups. According to Business Insider, however, individual franchises in New Hampshire and Iowa have made donations to Gay Pride events in the past.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff