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16 Jan 2013

Hong Kong will not conduct public consultations on anti-discrimination law

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced today that the government will not conduct consultations on enacting anti-discrimination laws that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the territory.

In his first policy address today, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said in a speech in the Legislative Council: "Last November, this Council discussed whether an anti-discrimination law is needed to protect people of different sexual orientation. The society is deeply divided over this issue. Some are in support from the perspective of equal opportunity. Others are concerned that launching a consultation exercise may deal a blow to family, religion and education. The Government understands that this is a highly controversial issue which must be tackled cautiously. We will continue to listen to different views from various sectors. At present, we have no plan to conduct consultation."

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in a Time magazine cover story in June 2012.

The news come after thousands of Christians staged a rally outside government headquarters on Sunday. Organisers claim 50,000 people attended the rally while the police put the number at 5,000. 

In November, the Legislative Council voted down a motion to launch a public consultation.

Hong Kong enacted its first anti-discrimination laws in 1995 with the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) and Disability Discrimination Ordinance, the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) in 1997 and the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO) was in 2008 but none of the laws specifically addresses discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Nor do the laws cover discrimination on the basis of age or religious beliefs, according to the Guide to Discrimination Law in Hong Kong published by Mayer Brown.

Hong Kong

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