Holden Chow favors status quo on marriage in HKLocal | 17 May 2019 4:57 pm
DAB lawmaker Holden Chow says Hong Kong must not follow in Taiwan by legalizing same-sex marriage, warning of "huge consequences," RTHK reports.
Taiwan's parliament passed a law today allowing same-sex couples to form "exclusive permanent unions" and apply for "marriage registration" with government agencies.
This makes Taiwan the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, prompting Hong Kong LGBT groups to call for the SAR to become the second.
But Chow, who is a former member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, implored the SAR government not to change the status quo on marriage.
"I have received a lot of concerns from a lot of religious organizations and other organizations who insist on protecting traditional family values," Chow said.
"In Hong Kong right now, the only legalized marriage is between one man and one woman and we hope that the government will take on board these sort of opinions to maintain this legal principle. If we are going to change the legal status of marriage or try to legalize same-sex marriage, there will be huge consequences.''
Hong Kong's Big Love Alliance responded to the Taiwan court ruling by thanking the island's activists for their determination and perseverance during a "long battle" for equality.
In a social media post, it said this battle was only just beginning in Hong Kong, with the city's courts serving as the frontline. The alliance urged local campaigners not to give up their fight and to continue speaking up for the city's LGBT community.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Marriage Equality campaign said it applauded Taiwan's parliament on its landmark decision.
It noted that surveys in Hong Kong have already established that the majority of the public support same-sex marriage and it urged the government to move "to the right side of history".
A recent court case saw a small victory for Hong Kong's LGBT community, with the same-sex partners of overseas workers in the SAR winning the right to be given dependant visas. A gay civil servant is also fighting in the Court of Final Appeal for spousal benefits for his husband who he married abroad.
But less than two months ago, Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a financial forum that same-sex marriage is still very controversial in Hong Kong and the city is no closer to allowing it.