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10 Nov 2015

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Trans and Intersex Conference in Asia (IGLA Asia) provides insight of state of equality in the region

The sixth ILGA Asia was held in the city of Taipei, Taiwan, late last month

Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, Taiwan’s largest and oldest LGBT organization hosted the conference that gathered hundreds of LGBT rights activist to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing LGBTI communities the region.

The gathering also welcomed LGBT organizations from around the world, UN agencies, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) SOGIE Caucus, the European Union, Asian governments and national human rights commissions.  

One session discussed the state of marriage equality in Asia. The panels agreed that while the movement for same-sex marriage faced many challenges, it was gaining momentum due to increased public acceptance.

On transgender issues, Joe Wong from the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network discussed how invisibility, isolation, exclusion, sex work, bullying and harassment are the reality for many transgender people. However, it was noted that some countries, such as South Korea in 2007, had introduced anti-discrimination laws protecting transgender people and Taiwan had enacted gender recognition laws.

According to Edmund Settle, a United Nations policy expert, 19 countries in Asia continue to criminalize same-sex sexual relations. In some cases this is due to Colonial era laws such as Article 377 in India, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Reader's Comments

1. 2015-11-11 05:15  
Let's hope the activists think about others that are also gay.

It would be a shame if they think they act in the name of all lgbt.

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 ILGA Asia - Fridae partner for LGBT rights in Asia IGLHRC - Fridae Partner for LGBT rights in Asia