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A bride and groom take part in a traditional tea ceremony, a key event during Chinese weddings. The notion that a child is best raised in a family with a mother and a father is still strong in Hong Kong culture. Photo: Shutterstock

Letters | Hong Kong society still not fully ready for same-sex marriage

I am writing in response to the letter from Hillary Lee, “ Hong Kong LGBT rights must not be left to the courts” (October 1). I fully support the city’s LGBT community pursuing same-sex marriage rights. I also reckon that, if it was same-sex marriage alone, most Hong Kong people would have no problem in accepting it.

What concerns most people, I believe, are the changes same-sex marriage will bring to other laws or policies affecting people’s way of life. There are still a lot of questions about what views on child adoption, religious freedom and so on the LGBT rights activists have. Quelling these doubts and making some compromise could attract more support from fence-sitters, while bearing in mind there may be red lines that our society is not ready to cross yet.

The first red line is child adoption and surrogacy. Our society is not ready to accept this. The notion that a child is best raised in a family with a mother and a father still has deep roots in our culture. Besides, the well-being of children is worth addressing, too. We don’t want children being mistreated at school just because they have same-sex parents.

One may say this is why we should have better sex education, to teach our kids about sexual equality. But then for how many years have we taught our children not to tease others for disability or obesity, and still these scenes play out at schoolyards every single day? We have to be practical and not merely take the moral high ground.

Another red line is religious freedom, especially because the discussion of same-sex marriage often comes in tandem with that of an anti-discrimination law. We have a lot of Christians and Christian schools in the city. In church, we Christians are taught homosexuality is a sin. Can churches still say the same thing if there is an anti-discrimination law? Religious groups fear they will not be able to teach what is in the gospel like before.

Judge in LGBT civil union case declines religious groups’ offer to help

It is not clear how LGBT groups will respond to the interests of religious groups. Compromise is a must, since religious groups are politically influential in the city.

Same-sex marriage is not just about a legal certificate recognising the marital status of two people. It comes with a package of issues that our society still has divided views on. We have heard a lot about the views of the LGBT community on same-sex marriage, but we have not heard that much about their views on other related social issues.

Anson Chan, North Point