Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2022 9:30 AM - Wednesday, October 19, 2022 10:30 AM


  • Victoria Hsu (Attorney & Co-founder, Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights)
  • Yanhui Peng (Co-founder & former Director of LGBTQ Rights Advocacy China)
  • Guangchen Yang (Director, China Rainbow Media Awards)
  • Remy Choo (Singaporean attorney & Co-founder, Ready4Repeal)
  • Suang Wijaya (Attorney with Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, Singapore)


  • John Lewis (Visiting scholar at Tokyo Gakugei University)


The last decade has brought dynamic changes in the status, visibility, and rights of LGBTQ+ people in some parts of Asia, but significant challenges lie ahead.

In August, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the government would finally repeal the British colonial era law Section 377A that criminalized sexual intimacy between men in a significant victory for Singaporean LGBTQ+ advocates. But Lee simultaneously stated that the government would introduce a constitutional amendment to prevent same-sex couples from bringing constitutional challenges to laws banning same-sex marriage.

In 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia with marriage equality after an historic 2017 Constitutional Court decision in favor of the freedom to marry. Although LGBTQ+ people in Taiwan have significant legal rights and protections, full equality has not yet been achieved. In China, LGBTQ+ activists and their allies made unprecedented advances over the last decade both legally and socially, but they now struggle in the face of an increasingly repressive political atmosphere.

In this webinar, key LGBTQ+ leaders from China, Singapore and Taiwan will share the current status of queer rights in their respective countries and their hopes and challenges for the future. China, Singapore, and Taiwan have many shared elements of culture and history, yet their histories as well as current legal, political, and social conditions differ significantly. The speakers will also reflect on how these similarities and differences affect the lives of LGBTQ+ people today.

Webinar Access

Register required for meeting access:

Date & Time:

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 09:30-10:30


Registration is required. 事前登録制。

This event is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.


Victoria Hsu is an attorney and co-founder of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR), one of the leading LGBTI+ organizations in Taiwan.  Her team has won several landmark cases for LGBTI+ rights in Taiwan, including the marriage equality case in 2017 and the first case for a trans person to change their legal gender without surgery in 2021. Victoria devotes long-term attention and efforts to gender equality issues in Taiwan through legislative, judicial, and social advocacy, lobbying, and policy monitoring. She was an openly lesbian candidate in Taiwan’s 2016 legislative election. Among the issues Victoria is currently focusing on are: transnational same-sex marriage, anti-discrimination, trans rights, and protections for unmarried families.

Yanhui Peng is the Co-founder and former Director of LGBTQ Rights Advocacy China, a nonprofit organization that advanced LGBTQ equality through the Chinese legal system. He has worked for 15 years in the Chinese civil rights movement. In 2014, Peng filed the first lawsuit challenging the use of conversion therapy in China, raising him to national prominence. in the LGBTQ rights movement. Peng has consulted with many leading businesses, institutions, and nonprofits on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. He is currently a visiting scholar at Yale Law School and is writing a book on LGBTQ litigation’s impact on the Chinese legal system.

Guangchen Yang is the former Project Manager of LGBTQ Rights Advocacy China and a former visiting scholar at the University of Hong Kong Law School. Yang is also the director of China Rainbow Media Awards which focus on media engagement and media monitoring of LGBTQ issues in China.  As a nonprofit professional of 14 years, he specializes in media development, strategy planning and project implementation. Yang recently completed his Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratization in Asia and the Pacific at Mahidol University and Ateneo Law School. 

Remy Choo is a trial and appellate lawyer based in Singapore. Remy was part of the legal team that challenged the constitutionality of Section 377A of the Penal Code in Singapore in 2013 and 2018. Remy has also been involved in the social movements leading to the repeal of Section 377A, and was a founding member of the advocacy group Ready4Repeal. He is currently the secretary of the International Bar Association’s LGBTI Committee.

Suang Wijaya is a civil and criminal attorney with Eugene Thuraisingam LLP.  He and his colleagues represented Johnson Ong Ming in challenging the constitutionality of Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code. Suang was also a member of the legal team representing a married couple who challenged the legality of the Registrar of Marriages’ voiding their marriage after one of them underwent sex reassignment surgery. Suang was a contributor author to Same But Different: Legal Guidebook For LGBT Couples & Families in Singapore (2016). 


John Lewis is a visiting scholar at Tokyo Gakugei University, where he and his husband Stuart Gaffney have been regular guest lecturers on marriage equality, LGBTIQ, and multicultural issues for the last nine years. He and Stuart were one of the plaintiff couples in the lawsuit that brought marriage equality to California in 2008. John is the former Legal & Policy Director of Marriage Equality USA and wrote amicus briefs in the 2013 and 2015 US Supreme Court marriage equality legal cases.