Tag Archives : gay hk

BLOG – Anti-Discrimination Rules Should Protect LGBT Workers

Guest post by Dallas Sanders

“Mr. Sanders, he is gay,” said the 10 year old pointing to his classmate. I froze. A million thoughts came rushing through my mind such as does the boy know what it means? Is he joking? Is he repeating something on TV to get a reaction from me? I was trying to think of a response. I turned to him and said “If he is then that is good. If he isn’t that is good too. It really does not matter as long as he is happy.” The kid looked at me confused and I am not sure if it was because of what I said or if he didn’t understand.

Being a teacher is easy since I love it but being a gay teacher in Hong Kong is hard. If I had turned to the student and told him I was gay too then my school may not renew my contract. The kid could have complained to his mom or dad and I could have lost my job because Hong Kong does not have any discrimination laws to protect me.

The government has policies guarding against discrimination but they are voluntary with no punishments for those who violate them. They are not laws. Hong Kong needs discrimination laws not only to protect the LGBT community but also for anyone who may be judged by who they are rather than what they can do.

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INTERVIEW – Activist Shane Claiborne Reacts to HK’s Anti-LGBT Christian Movement 1

no FilterMeet the ‘ordinary radical’ and ‘good extremist’ Shane Claiborne.

A religious activist and author, Shane is as respected as he is controversial amongst even his own Christian community. He has gone out of his way to apologise to non-believers on behalf of ‘bad Christianity’, he spent time in Iraq during the initial 2003 US bombing, he has (literally) turned guns into gardening tools and was once prosecuted for feeding the homeless. His advocacy for a more embracing ‘Jesus-like’ Christianity has won him fans amongst even the most hardened agnostics.

Last week, Claiborne was in Hong Kong for the Justice Conference. He spoke of his activism to Hong Wrong and reacted to the city’s spate of anti-LGBT protests and Christian International School’s homophobic recruitment policies.

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.

POLITICS – ‘No Gays!’ Says HK’s International Christian School (And It’s Legal!) 56

International Christian School in Sha Tin has banned gay teachers, forcing staff to sign a ‘morality contract’ and a form which suggests sinners will be cast out like ‘heathens’.

The story was reported by Simon Parry in the China Daily, after an expatriate art teacher asked the school to clarify its stance. She received the following response from Admin & Recruitment Co-ordinator Sandy Burnett…

via China Daily

POLITICS – Photos from HK’s Biggest Ever Gay Pride Event 24

Below are photos from HK’s 5th and biggest ever gay pride gathering on Saturday. All are courtesy of AFP correspondent Jerome Taylor… He said: “Much less openly camp but no less radical, Hong Kong’s pride march is part celebration of all things LGBT, part two fingers up at the pro-Beijing establishment and social orthodoxy.” Follow Jerome’s photography on Flickr.

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Organisers estimated that 5,200 people took part (police estimated 4,500). This is double the number of participants compared to two years ago. Click here to see the blog’s coverage of last year’s march.

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There were a number of other, less happier, stories related to HK’s LGBT community making the headlines over the weekend…

  • News of a TVB actress’s love affair with a same-sex actor emerged – she was suspended by the broadcaster for 2 months (Apple Daily Chinese).
  • The Liberal (sic) Party collected signatures from the public to oppose marriage equality for LGBT people (Apple Daily Chinese).
  • A domestic helper employer attempted to “convert” their maid to be straight (Apple Daily Chinese).
  • Earlier in the week, a transgender woman accused immigration officials of behaving ‘like animals’ during a search at HK airport (SCMP).

BLOG – HSBC Lit in LGBT Rainbow Colours Tonight 4

Central’s HSBC building will be shrouded in a neon multi-coloured gay rainbow of illuminated equality this evening.  It is the first time the iconic building’s lighting scheme has been changed from the bank’s corporate red and white. The temporary change is part of ‘Out on the Street‘ – a campaign which began on New York’s Wall Street to encourage employers in the financial sector to publicly show support for their LGBT workers.

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via Pink Alliance FB

POLITICS – Judges Approve Transsexual Marriage as LGBT Event Planned for Weekend 6

As part of the annual IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia) rally in HK, activists will meet this weekend at a ‘Love Thy Neighbour‘ event in Jordan. After the conservative Christian March of Hate‘ earlier this year, this event incorporates HK’s religious community, the majority of whom have a better understanding of inclusiveness and the Golden Rule. It is at Kowloon Union Church (opp. Jordan MTR, Exit B) at 2:30pm (speeches will be in Cantonese).

Transsexual Granted the Right to Marry
This gathering comes as heroic activist lawyer Michael Vidler won the right for his anonymous transsexual client to marry. The judgement noted that the idea of marrying to have children had been “diminished” in today’s multi-cultural HK. It has made the news internationally and is hopefully a stepping stone in HK’s eventual recognition of gay marriage…

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Vidler, being a total legend, photo via Time Out

Vidler’s equally heroic client, known only as ‘W’, had been granted a government-subsidised sex-change operation yet has twice been denied the right to marry her boyfriend. The judgement, co-written by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-Li and Permanent Judge Robert Ribeiro, admitted that excluding a transsexual person from the institution of marriage would be unjust.

However, the order to allow her marriage was suspended for a year as its final adoption is “entirely” a matter for LEGCO to decide upon.

POLITICS – Full Lowdown: Thousands of Bigoted Homophobes Gather for Demo 19

Thousands of Hong Kong Christians were unified in intolerance yesterday as they demonstrated against homosexuality at government headquarters…

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Hatefest 2013, via Ray Chan Chi Chuen on FB

The SCMP and Standard reported today that the dreadful Evangelical Free Church of China Yan Fook organised the “Inclusive Love Praying Concert” – which clearly was neither inclusive nor loving.

The right-wing bi-lingual ‘megachurch’ has a 10,000-strong congregation and was founded in the mid-80s. Ultra-wacky conservative Christian pressure/hate group, the Society for Truth and Light, were also in attendance. The group previously spent HK$1million to educate the HK public about the “scientific and social research” which proves homosexuals are ‘invalid’ purveyors of STDs. Quite.

POLITICS – Shots from HK’s Gay Pride Parade 12

4000 people including openly gay legislator Raymond Chan Chi-chuen joined Hong Kong’s annual gay pride event on Saturday.

HK remains years behind other ‘world cities’ with regards to LGBT rights. Homosexuality was only legalised in the 90’s 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.

Meanwhile, anti-discrimination laws remain flimsy. Same-sex marriage and civil unions are illegal and sex changes are not recognised by the state. Just last week, legislators voted against a motion urging the government to consult the public on new laws to protect the rights of sexual minorities whilst 27% of citizens surveyed believed gays should “keep their views to themselves”. Much of the local opposition to gay rights has been fanned by the right-wing Society for Truth and Light (who have been quite rightly described as the SAR’s “moral Taliban”.)

The ongoing debates still raging in Hong Kong plant our city firmly in the 1970s. Heroic human rights lawyer, Michael Vidler, stated that “Hong Kong needs to keep pace with worldwide social trends and developments in protecting human rights if it is to remain a world city.”

Shots by Flickr user H.L.Tam

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ACTIVISM – HK LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rally: Photos 3

Yesterday, Hong Kongers marked the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in preparation for a soon-to-be-released ‘climate report’ into the cultural state of affairs for the LGBT community in HK. Over 100 people gathered in Chater Garden, Central dressed in black to give a ‘final burial’ to homophobic and transphobic bullying.

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The emotional rally came days after Obama voiced his support for gay marriage and almost a month after local Cantopop star Anthony Wong came out at a live concert

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The city often plays ‘catch-up’ with the rest of the democratic world in that homosexuality was only legalised in the 90’s 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.

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