Andee Chua and Hugo Liu (
Andee Chua and Hugo Liu (Photo: Supplied)

A gay couple based in Singapore have drawn praise online with their incredible wedding ceremony. Besides wanting to celebrate their love for one another, they also wanted to draw attention to the fact that Singapore still refuses to legalize same-sex unions. 

Despite their obvious love for one another, the ceremony was purely symbolic in the eyes of local authorities. It took place June 9 at the Artemis Grill and Sky Bar, just a couple of weeks before nearby Thailand took the historic step of passing equal marriage legislation last week.

Andee Chua, 34, and Hugo Liu, 37 very much hope Thailand’s move prompts other countries in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. 

Chua, from Singapore, is a Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager at a US software company. Liu, from Taiwan, does PR and marketing for a tech company. The two met in 2017 via a dating app while Liu was on a trip to Singapore.

They made headlines four years ago when they stayed at the W Hotel in Singapore and the hotel subsequently used photos of them on its social media, prompting some backlash from conservatives. The couple has advocated publicly for LGBTQ+ rights and hope their wedding ceremony –legal or not–might help change hearts and minds. 

“The people we love”

They tell Queerty they legally got wed last year in Taiwan, but without any ceremony. 

“We are having our wedding ceremonies in both Singapore and Taiwan this year,” says  Chua. They wanted to hold their Singapore ceremony, where they live, to coincide with Pride Month. A similar ceremony will take place in Taiwan in October, which is when the region celebrates Pride. 

If Singapore doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, why did the men want a ceremony there? 

“Singapore is where we first met, bought a house together, and started a home here. It is also where we have our families and friends,” says Chua. 

“Celebrating our wedding here allows us to share this special moment with the people we love in the place that feels like home. By having our wedding in Singapore, we are contributing to the visibility of same-sex relationships. Visibility and positive representation are very important to our community since we don’t get much of that in mainstream media.”

He adds, “The emotional and sentimental value of getting married in my home country, surrounded by familiar places and faces, is irreplaceable.”

The event had just over 100 guests. Local drag queen, Opera Tang, acted as officiant. 

Andee and Hugo with drag performer Opera Tang
Andee and Hugo with drag performer Opera Tang (Photo: Supplied)

Both men’s families supported the event. Liu’s parents flew in from Taiwan, along with cousins from the US. Chua’s mom and sister attended, along with cousins.

“Hugo’s Dad even went onto the stage and gave a heartfelt speech to congratulate us and give us his true blessings. It was a very emotional moment for us and our guests.”

Singapore gay wedding
(Photo: Supplied)

Nephew and niece

Chua says family members also provided one of the day’s highlights.

“Before our wedding, I was quite hesitant and worried about how to explain to my nephew and niece, aged 10 and 4 respectively, that the wedding they were about to attend was a gay wedding. We hadn’t really ‘come out’ to the kids about our sexuality, though they had seen us together as a couple over the years. However, during the wedding, when I saw them both waving the rainbow flag, wearing pride pins on their shirt and dress, and treating us just like they always had, all those worries vanished.

“Children are naturally naive and pure, free from the prejudices that adults often carry. They accept people for who they are without judgment or bias. It’s usually the adults and parents who impose their own fears and biases onto children.”

“Seeing my nephew and niece embrace our wedding with such innocence and joy reminded me of this beautiful truth. It was definitely one of the most significant highlights for me that day.”

Law change

Both men were happy to hear about Thai lawmakers voting to legalize same-sex marriage. However, they are skeptical that Singapore will follow suit any time soon. The nation only legalized sex between men in 2022. 

“We are incredibly happy that Thailand, our neighboring country, has finally amended its laws to include same-sex marriage. It demonstrates that change is possible and that progress towards equality can be achieved. In contrast, I believe Singapore still has a long way to go towards true inclusivity and equality,” says Chua. 

“There is still much work to be done to ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals have the same rights and protections as everyone else.”

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