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date: 17 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the intersection of sexual minority rights, global polity, and political economy through case studies of marriage equality in Japan and Hong Kong. Past research on the complex relationship between local activism and global norms in Japan and Hong Kong is limited. Through a detailed analysis of interconnecting discursive practices among governments, local nongovernmental organizations on LGBT rights, United Nations covenants on discrimination against sexual orientation, and perceived global standards of marriage equality, the authors explore the lone pursuit of same-sex partnership benefits and rights as a potential illusion of progress, hence forestalling fundamental changes in wider society. As Hong Kong and Tokyo strive to be world cities in the Asian region with the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and Gay Games in Hong Kong in 2022, the chapter further examines the challenges for global norms to be invoked and reworked in domestic contexts.

Keywords: same-sex partnership, sexual orientation, gender identity, human rights, democracy, nongovernmental organizations, United Nations, global city

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