As same-sex marriage is soon to be legalized in Taiwan, major multinational corporations are joining with iconic Taiwanese companies to pledge their support for passage of marriage equality in Taiwan, which they affirm will promote economic growth. All 15 companies - including Airbnb, Deutsche Bank, Dow, Ernst & Young, Google, Mastercard and Microsoft - are supportive of the freedom to marry, which would lead to greater LGBT+ inclusion and, thus, promote innovation and social developments, reduce barriers for foreign investment, retain talent, and result in better corporate profitability.
”We value diversity, inclusivity, respect, equality, and non-discrimination, as well as seek to protect these values within our company and while working with our business partners,” said Patrick Pan, Enterprise Public Lead of Microsoft Taiwan, explaining his company’s support for marriage equality in Taiwan. “We do so not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it can make our company and society stronger and more successful.”
Similarly at EY, Taiwan Country Managing Partner, Andrew Fuh believes that diverse and inclusive teams enriches the work environment. “Leveraging different perspectives fuels innovation, fosters collaboration and strengthens relationships,” said Fuh.“This is why we believe that each of us has a role to play in advancing diversity & inclusion.” In addition, T.H. Tung, a famous Taiwanese businessman joins this business-led call for marriage equality – stating that extending marriage to same-sex couples is of utmost importance for the sustainable development of Taiwan over the next 30 years.
Businesses posit that passing marriage equality would be the next step in advancing innovative industrial policies and attracting foreign investment and talent - which has been the core of the Taiwanese government’s response to the recent economic downturn. Credit Suisse’s “Environmental, Social and Governance” research found that the performance of 270 companies that support and embrace LGBT employees is 3% higher when compared with MSCI’s World Index, suggesting a positive correlation between companies’ LGBT+ inclusion and their financial performance.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by ManPowerGroup, 78% of Taiwanese employers are experiencing a global talent shortage – the 3rd highest rate in the world. Meanwhile, the Center for Talent Innovation pointed out that 72% of non-LGBT multinational employees said they preferred to work for an LGBT-friendly company. Qualified workers – particularly Millennials – want to work in a country where everyone is treated with respect, where people of all backgrounds and identities can live together harmoniously.
Jennifer Lu, the Chief Coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, hopes that the passage of marriage equality can promote economic growth for Taiwan for the years to come, bolstering its standing in the global marketplace. “In a globalized society, Taiwan cannot ignore an important opportunity to attract more outstanding talent to seek employment in our country,” said Lu. “We look forward to Taiwan catching up with the rest of the world and setting a new pro-business standard for the region by becoming the first country in Asia to secure marriage for same-sex couples. Passing marriage equality will send a signal to the world that Taiwan is open for business – and ready to lead the charge towards global innovation and industrial growth.”
In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage violates the promises of the Constitution – mandating that lawmakers pass legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry no later than May 24, 2019. Legislation – titled “The Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748” – is currently pending in the Legislative Yuan, backed by Premier Su Tseng-chang and President Tsai Ing-wen. Lawmakers have until May 24th to pass legislation extending marriage to same-sex couples. If no bill is passed, marriage equality will immediately become effective but custody, inheritance etc. are not covered. Taiwan would be the first country in Asia to allow same-sex couples to marry.
List of companies supporting marriage equality:
Backer-Founder Co., Ltd
Canmeng International Inc.
Choice Delights Inc.
Ernst & Young (EY Taiwan)
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
New Gooseberry Enterprise Co, Ltd
Portico Media Co., Ltd
funP Innovation Group