Government officials in Hong Kong have voted down a motion that proposed the opeing up of LGBT rights legislation to public consultation according to the South China Morning Post.
Cyd Ho Sau-lan, of the Labour Party, had originally brought the motion to the floor. The proposal would allow the public to be consulted on whether or not anti-LGBT discrimination legislation should be implemented.
Homosexual activity has been legal in Hong Kong since 1991. Not only legal attitudes have shifted in favor of LGBT rights, but social attitudes have made great strides. In 2006, a public study found that 88% of people in Hong Kong found homosexuality not to affect individual’s ability to work. About 60% claimed that homosexuality did not cause promiscuity, and 47% believed that homosexuals are not psychologically defective. Around 75% of people surveyed accepted homosexuals in public spaces. This is a huge change from the days of British colonialism that criminalized homosexuality carrying a sentence of up to life in prison. During the same year, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal declared that the age of consent, 16, should be the same for both same-sex and heterosexual sexual activity. In 2007, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal held that legislation banning public homosexuality was discriminatory.
Since the 2006 survey, I am sure attitudes have evolved even more toward accepting LGBT individuals as contributing and worthwhile members of Hong Kong society. That evolution is exactly why the government’s rejection of a public consultation is so harmful and contrary to elected officials taking office to represent their constituents. This government doesn’t appear to be serving its people as much as its own, very conservative, agenda.
Source of statistics: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,IRBC,,HKG,,49b92b44c,0.html