Lessons from Gay and Lesbian Activism in Asia: The Importance of Context, Pivotal Incidents and Connection to a Larger Vision

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This article is relevant to development and humanitarian practitioners as it provides a comparative analysis of the factors influencing the success of gay and lesbian activism in five jurisdictions in Asia. The article also offers practical recommendations for activists who promote the human rights of sexual minorities.

This academic article examines the factors that influence the success of gay and lesbian activism in Asia. The article looks specifically at the jurisdictions of Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. The article assesses the role of the political, religious and cultural contexts of each jurisdiction to examine how these factors impact the success of gay and lesbian activism. The article concludes that success is often influenced by activists ability to use incidents that will create public empathy towards gay and lesbian people.

The article begins by providing an overview of the legal status of gay and lesbian people in each of the five jurisdictions. The article then compares the similarities and differences between the jurisdictions to highlight which factors may help or hinder gay and lesbian activism. Factors that commonly lead to success for gay and lesbian activists, including the strategic use of key events and the ability to frame equal rights as a cause that affects everyone, are then discussed. The article concludes with four key recommendations for activists who are promoting the human rights of sexual minorities.

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“This article has argued the importance of reframing minority needs in a way that appeals to the interests and values of the larger population. This strategy has proven successful in societies where freedom and equality was valued as part of the nation’s identity, such as Canada and the United States; in these scenarios, reframing samesex marriage in terms of equality helped shift the public opinion to be more favourable”

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This academic article examines the factors that influence the success of gay and lesbian activism in Asia. The article looks specifically at the jurisdictions of Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. The article assesses the role of the political, religious and cultural contexts of each jurisdiction to examine how these factors impact the success of gay and lesbian activism. The article concludes that success is often influenced by activists ability to use incidents that will create public empathy towards gay and lesbian people.

The article begins by providing an overview of the legal status of gay and lesbian people in each of the five jurisdictions. The article then compares the similarities and differences between the jurisdictions to highlight which factors may help or hinder gay and lesbian activism. Factors that commonly lead to success for gay and lesbian activists, including the strategic use of key events and the ability to frame equal rights as a cause that affects everyone, are then discussed. The article concludes with four key recommendations for activists who are promoting the human rights of sexual minorities.