Wednesday, July 30, 2014   




Same-sex talk

Eddie Luk

Monday, January 14, 2013


Sex in the city is on the agenda for Wednesday's policy address when the chief executive will speak out on sexual orientation.

How far Leung Chun-ying will venture on same-sex love or marriage laws remains to be seen.

But yesterday thousands of Christians demonstrated at the Tamar government headquarters park protesting against a public consultation on the delicate issue.

Among them were Gigi Chao, who is openly gay, and her mother Kelly Yao Wei, a former actress.

Chao's playboy father, tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, last September offered HK$500 million to any man who can win Gigi's heart, even after she married her long-time gay partner.

Addressing the crowd, Yao said she has started accepting her daughter's sexual orientation since Gigi told her that being a Christian she should acknowledge homosexuality. The organizers claimed 50,000 people took part in the three-hour prayer-protest but police said 5,000 people were there at its peak.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi- yuen said the government is open- minded about sexual orientation matters and Leung will shed further light in the policy address.

"As I have told lawmakers in the Legislative Council's constitutional affairs panel meetings, the government is open-minded whether a public consultation should be launched on the enactment of a law against any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation," Tam said.

"I believe that it is very hard to see same-sex marriag
e being legalized and other related changes in our community occurring in the foreseeable future."

Tam said that although the community has different opinions on the issue, citizens can gain more understanding on the matter through communication and respecting other people's views. "I have noticed that even in France, there are strong opposition voices over the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage," Tam said.

During the protest, Gigi's mother told the crowd from the stage: "I was heartbroken when my daughter told me for the first time that she is homosexual.

"My relations with my daughter became worse. When I was on holiday, I always cried loudly."

Yao said she started mending her relations with her daughter when she became a Christian.

But when Gigi told her she planned to marry her girlfriend last year, she felt sad again.

Another protester named Fong said: "What I am worried about is that if there is a law enacted to outlaw such discrimination, [gay rights supporters] may become even more hostile against us and their acts may become more radical."

Christian pastor Tam Tze-shun of the Yan Fook Church, part of the Evangelical Free Church of China, one of the event's organizers, said: "If the government resorts to legislative means to resolve any social disputes on homosexuality based on the grounds of morality, it will only undermine the freedom of expression of those people who don't accept homosexuality."

Choi Chi-sum, general secretary of the Society for Truth and Light, said education is better than enacting laws to outlaw discrimination.

About 100 activists who support anti-discrimination laws staged a separate rally at Tamar.

Gay lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi- chuen of People Power said gay groups should not accept the policy address if it ignores their demands.


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