image

LGBTI

The Hong Kong government claims it is fair to the LGBTI community: so prove it

  • The government should start drafting a sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination ordinance
  • The current system that requires mandatory sex-reassignment surgery is inhumane
PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 October, 2018, 5:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 October, 2018, 5:02am

The Hong Kong government is known for being unsympathetic to LGBTI equality. From the QT case to the Angus Leung case, what we have seen is a government fighting tooth and nail to prevent LGBTI individuals from enjoying equal rights.

As such, it is particularly galling for the government to claim in the Hong Kong section of the most recent national report to the UN Human Rights Council that it “continues to promote equal opportunities for persons with different sexual orientation and transgender persons”. That is utterly misleading.

But it is not too late for the government to have an epiphany and demonstrate to society and the international community that it is serious in eradicating discrimination against LGBTI people.

To begin with, the government should start drafting a sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination ordinance. Education is simply not enough; we need a law – as an expressed voice of society – that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and intersex status will not be tolerated.

LGBT rights should be protected, and Hong Kong should not seek to block progress

In jurisdictions where same-sex relationships are recognised, the sky hasn’t fallen, and the institution of marriage remains strong. Same-sex relationships are as loving, caring and serious as straight relationships, and they deserve legal recognition in Hong Kong.

Should governments have a role in marriage at all?

We need a self-declaration gender recognition scheme to address the needs of transgender persons. The current system that requires mandatory sex-reassignment surgery is inhumane and amounts to torture. We should respect their bodily autonomy, and let them decide the best course of action for themselves.

As far as intersex persons are concerned, the current practice of asking parents to decide the gender for their intersex children (with the implication of subjecting these children to invasive surgeries) is outrageous. It causes unnecessary mental stress and physical harm to the children and their families.

A win for dignity, as German babies don’t have to be a boy or girl

We call upon the government to respect the bodily integrity of these children and let them make an informed decision about their gender and what, if any, surgeries they wish to undergo once they have reached the age of majority.

Through the Hong Kong Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Coalition, we have made specific recommendations on LGBTI rights. Is the government listening?

Jerome Yau, spokesperson, E4Q (Beyond the Boundary – Knowing and Concerns Intersex, Les Corner Empowerment Association, Pink Alliance, Planet Ally and Transgender Resource Center)