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25 Jan 2016

LGBT activists rally as Hong Kong government delays discrimination legislation

Nine LGBT groups have released a strong joint statement criticising the government for a decision to delay legislation to protect sexual minorities from discrimination at a press conference last week

A long awaited report by Hong Kong’s government into eliminating discrimination against sexual minorities has concluded that “more studies and public consultation are needed” on the issue. The report took two and a half years to compile by Hong Kong's Advisory Group on Eliminating Discrimination against Sexual Minorities.

Last week, a press conference was organised by some of the city’s most prominent LGBT supporters. A total of nine organisations included lawmaker Ray Chan Chi-Churn and singer Denise Ho Wan-see, to denounce the report.

Significantly Chan, who was a member of the advisory group working on the report, claimed that most of the members of the group were in favour of legislation—but that this was not represented. Chan has asked for his name to removed from the report.

Chan blasted chairperson Professor Fanny Cheung Mui-ching for omitting the crucial detail, while dragging the publication in general: "The report has no direction at all. It doesn't even include a timetable of when the recommendations should be implemented."

The activists highlighted the fact that while many countries are moving towards gay marriage, Hong Kong lacks even the most fundamental assurances of equal treatment.

Denise Ho Wan-see said discrimination against LGBT people happens on a daily basis in the city. She urged the government to take action “before something tragic happens”, Apple Daily reported.

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-01-26 00:26  
Well Rome was not built in a day right!
2. 2016-01-26 15:38  
Nine groups!??

Hk isn't that big either.

I guess they have problems deciding.

Change takes time. Nothing to worry about.
3. 2016-01-28 12:47  
The Hong Kong government has a terrible record of using the "need for further public consultation" excuse to delay change. Frequently no further consultation takes place and issues are dropped off the agenda. Further, civil servants skew the "results" in papers like this one to ensure the government's view has prominence.

Only if there is massive public pressure will the government move - as in the case of the change in the law against homosexual practices around 1991. This only came about as a result of public outcry over a long period sparked by the death of a police inspector which the coroner ruled was suicide when it was quite clearly murder. That inspector had been part of a special police squad of goons whose job was to root out gays. From that one event and constant government lying and fudging grew a major protest movement that something had to be done. It was.

In this case several major corporations have come out publicly in favour of the change. Before 1997 this would have meant something. Now it is political winds which determine what happens.

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