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16 Oct 2007

hong kong gay activist to run in district council election

Despite running unsuccessfully in 2003, gay and civil rights activist Kenneth Cheung Kam-hung will run in the upcoming Yau Tsim Mong District Council Election.

Prominent gay and civil rights activist Kenneth Cheung Kam-hung (popularly known as Ken仔)will run in the upcoming Yau Tsim Mong District Council Election (Mong Kok South constituency) on Nov 18 after running unsuccessfully in 2003.

Yau Tsim Mong District - comprising Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Mong Kok - is one of the 18 districts of Hong Kong. Each council has between 11 to 37 elected members.

Known for his LGBT, HIV/AIDS and pro-democracy activism work, Cheung is running as a candidate under the League of Social Democrats of which he is a founding member alongside 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, controversial former radio talk-show host Raymond Wong Yuk-man and lawmaker Albert Chan.

He is known to many in the gay community as the co-organiser of the high profile International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) marches and the founder of the 9-year old gay advocacy group Rainbow of Hong Kong which had recently launched a gay social services centre and is involved with the Hong Kong 10 Percent Club, Women's Coalition of Hong Kong, Nutong Xueshe and Queer Sisters as well as HIV/AIDS advocacy groups Aids Concern and the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation.

The 32-year-old is believed to be the youngest committee members of the pro-democratic Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, the largest grassroots pro-democracy advocacy group in the territory.

In a translated manifesto posted on the Internet, he wrote, "I have embarked upon my political career with no turning-back. With no regrets, this move signals a shift in the development of my life as an activist, from lesbian and gay groups to political parties and from lesbian and gay movement to the movement for social democracy."

Not everyone has been supportive of his decision to run saying that he should "reconsider at what stage our society is," implying that society may not be ready for a gay District Council representative.

"The clich that asks me to wait a good timing tells nothing about when it is. Will the good timing come sometime and society automatically progress with the endless deferral of laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination and the urgently needed sexual orientation sensitive education? What we presently need is no more excuses of "not the right timing." Cheung said in a translated statement posted on the Rainbow of Hong Kong web site.

His full statement can be read in English and Chinese at rainbowhk.org

Cheung is seeking campaign volunteers and donations, and will be meeting supporters on Sun, Oct 21, from 7-10pm at Rainbow of Hong Kong, Community Service Centre, 242 Nathan Road, 7th Floor Unit D, National House, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Hong Kong

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