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LGBT

Why Hong Kong is just not ready for same-sex marriage

  • Same-sex marriage is not simply about being able to choose whom to love. It also relates to the constitution of a family
  • China and Hong Kong are officially non-religious. But this does not mean that we accept same-sex marriage
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 1:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2018, 1:04pm

I refer to the letter from John Yau (“Why Taiwan LGBT vote must not make Hong Kong lose heart on gay rights”, November 27). Although some truths are as obvious as “my mother is a woman”, as Hongkongers like to say, I would still like to acquaint Mr Yau with a history of marriage law in Hong Kong (Cap 178 and 181) and with Chinese tradition.

According to the Marriage Ordinance (Cap 181), a marriage celebrated on or after October 7, 1971 has to be monogamous. The marriage must be the voluntary union for life of one man with one woman. Hong Kong was a British colony in the 1970s, and Britain had an Anglican tradition.

And, according to the Marriage Reform Ordinance (Cap 178), a marriage between a man and a woman that was celebrated in Hong Kong before October 7, 1971 would be a valid marriage.

Some religions oppose homosexuality, whereas China and Hong Kong are officially non-religious. But this does not mean that we accept same-sex marriage.

Using Chinese tradition to oppose same-sex marriage is misguided

In the Chinese tradition, one man can have more than one wife, and we have a saying about “the bliss of the man of Qi”.

Also, family is important in the Chinese tradition. A grandfather, a grandmother, a father, a mother and siblings constitute a family. If both parents are men, a child does not have a mother. When the child asks, “Where do I come from?” – how should the same-sex couple answer?

Same-sex marriage is not simply about being able to choose whom to love. It also relates to the constitution of a family and the future of humankind.

However, some people who oppose proposals for a same-sex marriage law may not mean to discriminate against a particular group of people. They do so because same-sex marriage law is still a controversial issue in Hong Kong.

Felix Mak, Kowloon Bay