BLOG – LBGT Hong Kong & Supporters Unite for Equal Rights (Photos)

A Pink Alliance vigil took place on Friday evening to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2014.

Hong Kong Gay Community event.

Activists and their supporters braved stormy weather in Chater Garden to raise awareness of human rights violations against sexual minorities in the city and around the world.

Hong Kong Gay Rights vigil

It has been a mixed year for the community. A recent survey revealed that three quarters of Hong Kong would like to see more equal rights for gays and there was a record turnout at November’s Gay Pride Rally. Also, in January, the Court of Appeal upheld a gay activist’s right to dance during a 2011 rally.

Hong Kong LGBTQ Community event.

However, there have also been a number of setbacks. The government has suggested that it will force transgender people to go through operations should they wish to marry.

Hong Kong Equal Rights Protest

Whilst, last month, hundreds of conservatives and Christians united to protest equal rights for the transgender community.

IDAHOT 2014 Hong Kong

In Shatin, International ‘Christian’ School (ICS), headed by John Nelson, banned gay teachers and made existing staff sign a ‘morality contract’. Their policies remain unchanged as the school refuses to comment on the matter, despite media scrutiny this year.

IDAHOT 2014 Vigil, Hong Kong

HK remains years behind other ‘world cities’ with regards to LGBT rights. Homosexuality was only legalised in 1991 and the age of consent was only equalised for gay couples in 2006 (despite opposition from Donald Tsang). In 2008, a judge upheld a ruling against RTHK for broadcasting a programme about homosexuality which failed to give air-time to homophobic counter viewpoints. And until as recently as 2009 , co-habiting gay couples were not recognised in the Domestic Violence Ordinance.

IDAHOT 2014 Vigil, Hong Kong

Meanwhile, anti-discrimination laws remain flimsy and same-sex marriage and civil unions are illegal. There are still no specific laws targeting hate crimes directed against the Hong Kong gay community.

Abby Lee and Reggie Ho led the vigil.

Activists Abby Lee and Reggie Ho led the vigil.

Transgender model, activist and founder of GenderProud.comGeena Rocero, was present at the rally…

Geena Rocero (far left)

Geena Rocero (far left)

Rocero, from the Philippines, is best known for her TED talk, ‘Why I Must Come Out’. This week she was a guest speaker at Happy Valley TEDx…

Update: Over the weekend, the British Consulate flew the rainbow flag to commemorate IDAHOT:

British Consulate flies rainbow flag

The British Consulate in Hong Kong flies the rainbow flag.

Click here for more coverage of HK’s LGBTQ community news and events.

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