Where has gay marriage caused societies to collapse? Hong Kong must stop the fearmongering

  • Claims made in the Legislative Council debate on legal unions – that recognising same-sex unions would destabilise society and harm families – are unfounded
  • Traditions do not remain the same; they constantly evolve to meet the needs of the time
PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 November, 2018, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 November, 2018, 11:23pm

Once again, the government and conservative lawmakers have resorted to scaremongering and unsubstantiated claims in opposing any constructive dialogue on recognising same-sex relationships in Hong Kong (“‘Small step’ in push for civil unions for gay couples shot down in Hong Kong’s legislature after heated debate,” November 22).

In these lawmakers’ narratives, recognising same-sex relationships would destabilise society and harm families. One such lawmaker even warned that society would pay a dear price if we followed “Western traditions”.

The government, on the other hand, seemed to suggest that recognising same-sex relationships would somehow undermine social order.

Other than stirring up fear and anxiety, these claims serve no rational purpose whatsoever. In jurisdictions where same-sex relationships are legally recognised, fire and brimstone haven’t rained upon the populace, and the sky certainly hasn’t fallen. In fact, in those countries, the institution of marriage remains robust, and society remains strong.

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True love transcends cultures and customs, and it is simply laughable to suggest Chinese culture is incapable of recognising same-sex relationships, which are as loving and caring as heterosexual relationships (“Christian and gay: LGBT church group first to worship at Hong Kong Pride Parade” November 17).

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Kudos to those lawmakers who have raised the issue in the Legislative Council and engaged in eviscerating the nonsensical arguments made by their learned colleagues (“Homophobia in Hong Kong, host of the 2022 Gay Games: how’s that for irony?”, July 20).

Traditions do not remain the same; they constantly evolve to meet the needs of the time. For example, wives were once the property of their husbands, and women were considered inferior to men. Our traditions have certainly changed where those discriminatory beliefs are no longer justifiable (“Married gay man refused public flat sues Hong Kong government”, November 23).

In short, embracing same-sex relationships will neither subvert nor harm traditional values.

If the government is sincere in its commitment to non-discrimination, then it should stop burying its head in the sand and start working with stakeholders to make Hong Kong a shining beacon of equality.

Jerome Yau, Happy Valley