Displaying profound ignorance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 May, 1998, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from Chadwick Williams headlined, 'Gay rights no matter for Amnesty' (South China Morning Post, May 19).

Your correspondent implies that homosexuals are like liars, cheats, thieves, murderers and adulterers. This is an unacceptable and unfortunate slur on the majority of homosexuals who would simply be insulted by this association. She/he claims that homosexuals base their life around their sexual practices. This statement displays a profound ignorance of homosexuals' lives.

Your correspondent may be surprised to learn that homosexuals, like heterosexuals, are as concerned with the same everyday issues like work, the pursuit of health, happiness and emotional and financial security.

Chadwick Williams challenges the legitimacy of Amnesty International's concern for the welfare of homosexuals. Amnesty International's mandate is to uphold the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Thus, the movement campaigns on behalf of people whose human rights have been violated. Violating people's human rights on the grounds of their sexual orientation violates the UN declaration, hence Amnesty's interest.

Your correspondent may also like to know that violating people's human rights because of their sexual orientation contravenes the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of which Hong Kong is a signatory. It is also a breach of Article 25 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region that states that all Hong Kong residents shall be equal before the law.

The basic lack of humanity in Chadwick Williams' remarks is regrettable, uncharitable, and makes a strong case for the existence of movements like Amnesty International and organisations like the UN Human Rights Commission.