Centre for Asian Legal Studies

CALS Seminar Series: Asia & International Law

Public Opinion on the Legal Status of Sexual Minorities in Singapore and Hong Kong
24 June 2016, Friday
10.00am - 12.00pm
Lee Sheridan Room, Eu Tong Seng Building, NUS (BTC)

Topic: Regulation of Same-Sex Sexual Conduct and Public Attitudes in Singapore
By Assistant Professor Lynette J. Chua

Chua's presentation is based on a recent random household survey that measures Singaporean attitudes on sexual regulation, particularly Section 377A of the Penal Code, the provision that criminalizes sexual conduct between men. It is the first that specifically studies public opinion on same-sex sexual conduct, its criminalization by Section 377A, the retention, enforcement, and repeal of Section 377A, as well as public knowledge about the law. The survey results and analysis are critical as the government places great importance on societal views in formulating its position on Section 377A. The presentation, drawn from a draft article, examines the survey results together with socio-legal scholarship to critically analyze the government's position, as well as the impact of the law itself on shaping public opinion.

Topic: Public opinions in Hong Kong on legislation against discrimination on the grounds o sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status - debunking myths with empirical evidence
By Assistant Professor Yiu-tung Seun

Within debates about sexual citizenship, a certain myth assumes that 'Chinese values' and 'familial culture' render jurisdictions influenced by Chinese culture particularly conservative in terms of public opinions towards non-heterosexuality issues. This paper analyzes empirical public opinion data collected through mixed methods - including a territory-wide telephone survey with 1,005 respondents; qualitative findings collected from three public forums, 14 LGBTI focus groups, 13 public focus groups including those with strong concerns, as well as online and postal submission of opinions - from the 'Study on Legislation against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status' conducted by the Gender Research Centre, commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission, an independent statutory body of the Hong Kong government. First, the findings suggest that 'Chinese values' and 'familial culture' are subject to wide and varied interpretations and may not necessarily be negative towards non-heterosexuality issues. Second, it argues that there is a dramatic difference among different age groups in terms of their opinions on the issues, signaling a social paradigm shift. This means that the 'Chinese culture' is always in flux. This paper as a whole argues that the argument that a certain culture itself is necessarily conservative on sexuality issues warrants scrutiny

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CALS Seminar Series: Chinese Law


CALS Seminar Series


UPCOMING EVENTS

Law and Society in Asia: Defining and Advancing the Field
Asian Law and Society Association Inaugural Conference

Singapore 22-23 September 2016
Faculty of Law, NUS (BTC)


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