Gay rights activists yesterday hit back at the chief executive's comments on the controversy over the age of consent for homosexuals, saying his remarks showed little respect for human rights. During a question-and-answer session on the policy address with more than 1,000 young people on Saturday, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen made a remark on the August High Court ruling which overturned a law that criminalised buggery for men under 21 on the ground that it was discriminatory. The government has filed an appeal against the August High Court ruling. Mr Tsang said that the 'privatisation' of moral standards had become a danger in society and allowing males as young as 16 to perform the sexual act was 'too much'. Joseph Cho Man-kit, vice-president of the Hong Kong Ten Percent Club, said: 'Laws should not interfere in actions which are not harmful to other people. 'This means that actions performed privately should not be criminalised. Mr Tsang, and many other people, used moral values as an excuse but moral values change over time. In the past it was legal for men to have concubines but now this no longer exists because women's status has improved. 'We are talking about human rights, which has a moral shield against unreasonable interference over privacy.' Mr Cho added that 'protection' cannot be used as an excuse to interfere people's private life. 'If such 'protection' were established, [the authorities] could control any part of your private life, including your sex life,' he said. Victor Chau, editor of G Magazine, said that the chief executive's comments were inappropriate at a time when the legal battle was still going on. 'Everyone should be treated equally before law, and be granted protection even if they were morally deviant,' said Mr Chau. 'If you are judging people by moral values, whose moral values would that be? Everyone has different standards.'