Associate Professor Scott Skinner-Thompson traveled to Taipei, Taiwan, in May 2018 to present his scholarship surrounding LGBTQ rights and privacy law. The lectures, entitled “The First Queer Right” and “Privacy as Resistance,” were delivered at Shih Hsin University and National Taiwan University (NTU), respectively, and were based on his articles "The First Queer Right" (Michigan Law Review) and "Performative Privacy" (UC Davis Law Review).
The trip was preceded by the historic May 2017 decision of Taiwan’s Constitutional Court, which ruled that it is against the constitution to prevent same-sex individuals from getting married, providing the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan’s principal legislative body) two years to implement the decision. This would make Taiwan the first Asian jurisdiction to allow same-sex marriage.
Professor Yichien Chen of Shih Hsin University and Professor Ching-yi Liu of NTU arranged the visit, where, in addition to delivering lectures on his scholarship, Skinner-Thompson met with a mix of academics, NGO advocates, and students. The trip provided Skinner-Thompson, whose research focuses on constitutional law, LGBTQ rights, and privacy law, the opportunity to discuss the different legal hurdles facing LGBTQ communities in each country.
Skinner-Thompson met separately with legislator Mei-Nu Yu, who has supported legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, and several justices of the Constitutional Court, including the Honorable Chief Justice and President of Judicial Yuan Tzong-Li Hsu, and Justices Jau-Yuan Hwang, Sheng-Lin Jan, and Beyue Su Chen.
“It was a real honor and inspiration to learn from so many dedicated advocates working to improve the conditions for LGBTQ people in Taiwan,” Skinner-Thompson said. “It was so meaningful to learn about and compare Taiwan’s struggle for LGBT equality with that of the United States.”
Skinner-Thompson's scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the Michigan Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, UC Davis Law Review, Washington Law Review, and Columbia Law Review Online, and he is the editor and contributing author of AIDS and the Law (Wolters Kluwer, 5th ed., 2015), one of the leading resources in the field. His shorter work has appeared in Slate, Salon, The New Republic, Muftah, and elsewhere.