Hong Kong’s failure to safeguard LGBT rights shames its equal society

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2018, 4:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2018, 4:32pm

I am writing in response to the article, “Support for same-sex marriage in Hong Kong grows” (July 3).

The LGBT community globally has become more courageous in fighting for its rights, including same-sex marriage. With societies growing more open-minded and with rising acceptance of homosexuality among younger generations, country after country is recognising the right to same-sex marriage, including the US, Australia and Taiwan. From recognising gay rights to allowing same-sex marriage may have taken a few decades, but that leap has been made.

However, take a step back and look at Hong Kong: members of the LGBT community do not enjoy the same civil rights as their heterosexual peers, such as getting public housing in the name of their spouse or a married person’s allowance, as same-sex marriage is not recognised in Hong Kong. For a community that believes in equality, our record on LGBT rights is a disgrace.

LGBT book should be thrown at officials

Therefore, even though a more positive attitude may be shown towards the LGBT community, it may just remain as empty words without actual government action on establishing a new protocol.

Just as in gender-based discrimination, the LGBT community can face maltreatment in social situations, in school and at the workplace. Without protection by law, public support for LGBT rights will achieve little.

It was sad to see how a same-sex couple who had done nothing wrong still needed to go to court just to claim their civil rights. It is time the government faced the issue and acted on it.

Keith Li, Tseung Kwan O