Thousands of people took part in a Pride parade in Hong Kong yesterday, including the Equal Opportunities Commission chairman
Alfred Chan Cheung-ming joined a handful of top diplomats and nearly 7,000 people in the rain to march for equality.
The chairman said: “I would hope that after March the government would promise to hold a consultation on the issue, and hopefully by the end of next year we would have a drafting committee.”
He indicated that there were “encouraging” signs of progress despite progress on equality issues being slow.
“The government already promised a liaison group with the EOC, so we can start looking at how recommendations should move forward,” he said.
Currently discrimination legislation only covers race, sex, disability and family status so many advocates are calling for sexual and gender identity to be pulled in line.
Yeo Wai-wai, a spokeswoman for the pride parade, said: “The purpose and the demand of this year’s parade is to urge the government to do something on the legislation, such as a public consultation. We think it is the right time to do so.
“We do not think the government will do it during this term, but we hope the next government will start the process.”
Yeo explained that marchers wore green to signify that the Hong Kong population has “already given the green light to the LGBT community,” especially when it comes to combating sexual and gender discrimination.
“We think it’s about time for the government to put it into law,” Yeo added.
Thousands Celebrate in Hong Kong Pride March to Demand Equality
The LGBT community in Hong Kong is fighting for their rights.
Thousands of people poured into the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday to participate in its annual pride parade that seeks to demand more inclusion, end discrimination, and strengthening rights of LGBT people.
Organizers said more than 6,800 people took part in the annual parade, while among the attendees were city lawmakers who said they will raise the topic of equal rights in parliament.
As a British colony Hong Kong’s criminal laws against male homosexual acts carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Homosexuality was decriminalized until 1991 following the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination.
However, the LGBT community still do not have anti-discrimination laws and same-sex marriage is not permitted. Activists have largely criticised Hong Kong for lagging behind other Asia hubs for LGBT rights.
LGBT people demand the autonomous government to be much more forward-thinking than in China, whose constitution does not explicitly deal with sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination.
Hong Kong is part of China, but its legislative, executive, and judiciary bodies are independent, and Beijing only maintains authority in defense, foreign affairs and constitutional disputes.