Gay group might not lead rally

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 12:00am

Opposition to role at forefront of march intensifies

Amid growing opposition, gay rights activists may not lead the July 1 pro-democracy march after all, an organiser of the protest suggested last night.

'It's true there are different opinions and some people are coming up with suggestions,' said Chong Yiu-kwong, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front.

'There are people confused about the theme of the march. They think the protest will support causes other than universal suffrage and opposition to collusion between government and the business sector. They think with the gays and lesbians at the front, they will only chant for their own demands.

'As an organiser, I hope more people will join us. I'm just worried that the message we want to convey is not clear.'

The Christian group Society for Truth and Light has said it will boycott the march to protest against it being led by the Women Coalition of HKSAR, which advocates tolerance for lesbians.

Mr Chong said no opposition to the arrangement had been voiced at the two most recent meetings of the Civil Human Rights Front.

It is believed The Frontier is one of the groups opposed to the arrangement. But its convenor, Emily Lau Wai-hing, could not be reached for comment.

Verdy Leung Wai-yee, of the Hong Kong Informal Education Centre, said some pro-democracy activists had suggested the lesbian group's role be reduced.

'Some of them have suggested having different groups send their representatives to the front, while some suggested asking gay groups to distribute fewer leaflets on their campaign during the march.

'We support the present arrangement but it's better for the Civil Human Rights Front to clarify that the theme hasn't been changed,' Mr Leung said.

More than 50,000 people are expected to turn out for the march.