Taiwan is one of the most LGBT friendly societies in Asia, with an active gay community and possibly the largest annual gay pride parade in the region. In recent weeks expectations spiked that it would soon legalize same-sex marriage. On Dec. 3, The Economist opined, "It would be even better if the country that hardly any others recognize became the first in Asia to recognize that gay people deserve equality." But this won't happen until mid-2017 at the earliest due to President Tsai Ing-wen's lukewarm support and a backlash from powerful conservatives.

Even though Christians represent less than 5 percent of the population, they are a cohesive political force that is spearheading opposition. They are exploiting Tsai's cautious approach and sparking "Taiwan's first culture war," according to professor Rwei-ren Wu from Academica Sinica in Taipei. A recent poll suggests Taiwan is polarized on the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage — 46.3 percent support it, 45.4 percent oppose it, and more than 65 percent of those aged under 40 are in favor of the change.

Tsai took office six months ago and has seen her support plummet from 70 percent in May to 41 percent in late November, while her disapproval rate has soared to 43 percent. It appears that voters are impatient for change and she hasn't delivered enough to satisfy the expectations she raised. Wu argues that Tsai hasn't prioritized her policy initiatives, hasn't consulted enough within her party, hasn't communicated well with the public and comes across as a frosty technocrat.