talk back

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 August, 2003, 12:00am


Q What do you think of the gay activists' church protest?

The Catholic Church in Hong Kong has every right to voice its opinions on whether same-sex marriages should be given legal recognition. The gay rights activists who stormed a local church also have the right to voice their opposition.

However, their invasion of the church was misguided and has done little to further their cause in the public's eye.

Our government needs to weigh both sides of the argument and draw the only sane conclusion, that, while a policy against same-sex marriages may work within the Catholic Church, it is not right for a modern, pluralistic society like Hong Kong.

All the arguments the church has made against same-sex marriages don't hold any water outside the confines of the Catholic faith. Their God's objections to acts of homosexuality are of concern only to Catholics - non-Catholics will draw their own opinions based on their own belief systems, which deserve equal respect from the government.

The government has a duty to protect minority groups such as homosexuals against such discrimination from the public.

When two people choose to pool their mutual destinies to invest in an institution that forms what many believe to be the backbone of social cohesion, shouldn't they be at least granted, by the society they strengthen, the same legal recognition, sanction and protection, whatever gender mix they may be?

Stephen Ross, Lamma Island

Q Should same-sex marriages be allowed?

With or without legal recognition, we all know gays and lesbians will still find their partners and continue their lifestyle. Why don't we openly accept different lifestyle options? Isn't this the genuine way to strive for a harmonious society?

Some may worry that same-sex couples will be able to adopt children, which may be an obstacle to children's proper growth. Yet children are still able to learn to love and care and be educated as long as the couples are willing to teach their children properly. To build a balanced society, we should embrace different views on various matters, including sexual issues. It is high time for us to give gays the rights they deserve, such as applying for flats in housing estates, buying insurance for same-sex partners and signing for partners when it comes to authorising medical operations.

God loves all of us, and I hope we would do the same.

Lau Ka Hoi, Tseung Kwan O

I am writing in response to a letter. The writer apparently has never heard of homosexual behaviour in the animal world.

Not that I want to compare animals with human beings, but a smaller number do have eyes only for their own sex. A number of scientific studies have already rebutted the argument that homosexuality is unnatural because animals do not indulge in it.

If people can remove their judgmental glasses and stop thinking homosexuality is a social aberration, or an 'immoral' and 'unethical' perversion, perhaps they could realise the need to legalise same-sex marriages.

Prisca Chu, Heng Fa Chuen

On other matters...

A recent issue of Post Magazine carried an article on Genghis Khan which quoted him as saying nothing pleased him more than slaughtering those he conquered and raping their women. Elsewhere his wars are said to have been marked by ruthless carnage.

Tamerlane (otherwise known as Tamburlane or Timur Lenk) slaughtered tens of thousands of defenders of cities he had conquered and piled their sculls into pyramids.

Richard the Lionheart in one day slaughtered thousands of men, women and children of a Muslim city he had conquered in one of his crusades because he decided he could not leave sufficient troops to guard them.

Alexander the Great slaughtered the men, women and children of a city to which he was invited because they were descended from people who had offended his homeland.

Napoleon sacrificed the lives of millions of people in a vain attempt at lasting glory.

All these men are held by many in high esteem. Does anyone object to a restaurant named after Genghis Khan, or to a brandy named after Napoleon?

Why then is there such an outcry against an establishment that exhibits Nazi memorabilia? Hitler could not have done what he did without at least the tacit support of a large part of the German population and without the silence of religious leaders in Germany and elsewhere.

Colin Campbell, Mid-Levels

I was glad to read of the changes to the new police uniform. Yet no mention was made of the force's new caps.

The prospect of being admonished, fined or even arrested by someone wearing a baseball cap would diminish the moment. I do hope that we can look forward to the stature of 'Asia's finest' not being compromised by such inappropriate headgear. Jeremy Newton, Happy Valley

I refer to the picture published in the SCMP (August 19) of the American figure-skater, Michelle Kwan, who was visiting Hong Kong. The caption described her as 'Former Olympic figure-skater Michelle Kwan'.

I assume that anyone who has taken part in an Olympic Games can be described as 'former Olympic'. However, Kwan is currently the world champion figure-skater. She has won the world championships no less than five times. Surely she could be described as 'World figure-skating champion Michelle Kwan'. This would give her the respect she deserves.

Alan Urmston, Taikoo Shing