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19 Aug 2003

hong kong activists disrupt catholic mass

A group of activists on Sunday disrupted a mass at a Roman Catholic church - protesting its stance against same-sex marriages.

Hong Kong's Roman Catholic Church has denounced gay rights protesters for disrupting a mass on Sunday and demands an apology from the activists. The church on Monday lodged a complaint with police and called for firm government action.

Protesters for disrupted a mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday.
A small group of activists from the Rainbow Action group forced their way onto a cathedral altar Sunday and demanded an apology for two articles published in a Catholic newspaper last week backing the Vatican's denouncement of same-sex marriage as "immoral." Hong Kong does not recognise same-sex marriage and has said that any change in policy is not needed.

The group struggled with church officials and shouted at worshipers for about 10 minutes during a mass at the Hong Kong Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Two female demonstrators also kissed inside the church.

The Roman Catholic Church lodged a complaint with police accusing them of handling the matter in a "sloppy manner," saying they had arrived late after being called to the cathedral.

"We want the government to take concrete action to show the religious sector that their right to hold religious activities free from interference will be protected," said Father Louis Ha.

The church also demanded apology from the activists.

The Police said that they had not taken immediate action because no property had been destroyed and that they will investigate whether any laws had been broken. No arrests were made after Sunday's protest.

"It was only a brief disruption, but the Catholic officials are supporting a stance that trespasses our rights every moment, every day," said protest organiser Noel Chen.

Hong Kong

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