Volume 14, Issue 2
On April 7, 2012, the members of the William S. Richardson School of Law (“WSRSL”) at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, (“UHM”) Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal (“APLPJ”), Pacific Asian Legal Studies Organization (“PALSO”), and LAMBDA Law Student Organization put on a symposium entitled Rainbow Rising: Gender, Solidarity, and Scholarship on Gender Identities and Sexualities in Asian and Oceanic Law & Policy (“Rainbow Rising Symposium”). This groundbreaking symposium brought together leaders and advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (“LGBTIQ”) rights throughout Asia and the Pacific to begin and continue dialogue on issues facing the LGBTIQ community throughout the region. As a continuation of this symposium, the editors of APLPJ are proud to present Volume 14, Issue 2, which features pieces from the Rainbow Rising Symposium. We hope that this issue will help continue and advance the dialogue begun in April.
In this issue, we have the distinct honor of presenting six pieces comprised of articles, a comment, and an essay presented at the Rainbow Rising Symposium, in addition to an adapted transcription of a Rainbow Rising Symposium presentation. Each piece advances our understanding of sexuality and gender in the Asia-Pacific region. Of the three articles, two focus on Hong Kong and one focuses on Taiwan. In their article Sexual Orientation-Based Violence in Hong Kong, Rebecca Stotzer, Associate Professor of Social Work at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at UHM, and Holning Lau, Associate Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, fill an important gap in the scholarship on violence against lesbians, gays, and bisexuals in Hong Kong through a sociological analysis of independent research. Turning towards discrimination, Carole Petersen, Professor of Law at the WSRSL at UHM and Director of the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at UHM, closely analyzes the ways in which international treaties may be used to reduce discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in Hong Kong in her article Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Hong Kong: A Case for a Strategic Use of Human Rights Treaties and the International Reporting Process. Finally, in her article Lesbian Parenting in Taiwan: Legal Issues and the Latest Developments, Yun-Hsien Diana Lin, Associate Professor of Law at the Institute of Law for Science and Technology at National Tsing Hua University, provides an overview of the options available to prospective Taiwanese lesbian couples who wish to be parents and the legal barriers that keep the couples from becoming so. Lin concludes by making a call for legal reform in Taiwan that will achieve the substantive equality guaranteed under the Constitution. Together, these three articles help provide insight into the challenges individuals of the LGBTIQ community face both in Hong Kong and in Taiwan.
In addition to the three articles, we are also publishing one essay, one adapted transcription, and one student comment in this issue. In his essay, Japan’s 2003 Gender Identity Disorder Act: The Sex Reassignment Surgery, No Marriage, and No Child Requirements as Perpetuations of Gender Norms in Japan, Hiroyuki Taniguchi, Associate Professor of Law at Takaoka University of Law in Japan, provides a close examination of Japan’s Gender Identity Disorder Act. He argues that, although the Act appears progressive on its face, it ultimately preserves societal gender norms through its requirements. Moving away from East Asia, Dr. Dédé Oetomo, founder and trustee of GAYs NUSANTARA Foundation, a community-based organization working on sexual rights, health, and well-being of LBGTIQ individuals in Surabaya, Indonesia, provides an overview of the situation surrounding LGBTIQ rights in Southeast Asia in his adapted transcription New Kids on the Block: Human Rights, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity in Southeast Asia. Finally, 2012 WSRSL graduate Adam Chang challenges Hawaii’s local and settler lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities to take a close look at how their methods and push for equality may be harming the Native Hawaiians’ pursuit of self-determination. These three pieces provide insight into the diverse issues surrounding gender and sexuality in Japan, Southeast Asia, and Hawaiʻi.
Although this issue only scratches the surface on the topic, we hope it provides insight on gender and sexuality throughout Asia and the Pacific. Moving forward, we hope this issue sparks an increase in dialogue on the topic in the region.
A big māhalo to last year’s APLPJ board for doing the legwork to make such an outstanding symposium; Professor Mark Levin for suggesting the symposium theme and for providing guidance; to last year’s APLPJ editors, PALSO members, and LAMBDA members for working so hard to make the symposium a reality; and to all of the people who came near and far to participate in the symposium. In addition, thank you to this year’s outstanding editorial team for their hard work last semester as we worked to publish two issues. This issue would not have come to fruition without them.
Adair K. Fincher & Shirley S. Lou-Magnuson