A young gay man in Hong Kong is seeking legal aid to mount a judicial challenge to the law which criminalises sex between men aged under 21 while allowing sex between consenting heterosexuals aged 16 and over, according to the South China Morning Post.
The activists are appealing to the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government.
Roddy Shaw of Civil Rights for Sexual Diversities called the laws "archaic" and said his group would take up the issue with the Legislative Council's panel on administration of justice and legal services. The groups also plans to file a complaint to the Equal Opportunities Commission and an application to the Law Reform Commission, requesting it look into updating the law.
"We have taken the issue to Legco before but there was no compassion - they thought we were just fighting for the right to have sex, and were not interested," said the 36-year-old who married his partner Nelson Ng in Toronto last year and currently fighting for the rights of a Canadian same-sex couple to live and work in Hong Kong.
"Or they said we could be threatening our youth because gay predators could then go to kids between 16 and 21 and molest them, but that is ridiculous because a 17-year-old woman can decide who to have intimate relations with but apparently a gay man cannot."
A spokeswoman for the Security Bureau said the age of consent for homosexual intercourse was established through the Crimes (Amendment) Bill in 1991 after being "fully considered and debated" when asked if it would be open to the suggestion of having the laws amended, reported the Post.
"Homosexuality is still a sensitive subject in our society," the bureau's spokeswoman said.
"Any proposed amendments to the existing law governing homosexual intercourse should be carefully addressed in the broader context of homosexuality as a whole."