Overview of the situation of LGBT in Hong Kong


Given civil liberties are safeguarded in Hong Kong, sexual minorities are free to establish offically recognized LGBT organization, express their viewpoints via the media, and demonstrate for their rights without encountering any legal restrictions and political suppression. After the discriminalization of Homosexuality in Hong Kong, the number of LGBT orgnaizatoin proliferate and they are active in fighting for their civil rights and equal opportunity as heterosexuals. Though freedom of assembly is safeguarded by the law and LGBT organizations proliferated, the scale of gay right movement in Hong Kong is quite small and its history is short either, which is showcasted by the low participations in recent LGBT pride parade. The low participation and small scale of gay rights movement implies that rights of sexual minorities are given scant attention by the society and social intolerance towards sexual minorities are so high that LGBT community dare not to disclose their sexual orientation, not to mention striving for their rights blantantly in demonstrations. More information about social attitudes towards sexual minorities will be found in the following pages.

Sexual minorities are exclude from social goods enjoyed by the heterosexuals and thier civil liberties are not well protected by the laws as well. For example, same-sex marriage are not legally recognized, same-sex partners cannot enjoy the taxation benefits granted to partners in heterosexual marriage relationship. Although LGBT and supportive legislators have called for legislation for same-sex marriage for years. The legislation was fail to pass given the strong opposition of religious and moral groups. Among the religious group, the Society for Truth and Light show strong opposition to homosexuality and the legislation of right for the LGBT. Religious and moral groups in Hong Kong often stigmatize homosexuality as psychological disease and associated sexual minorities as HIV carriers. These stigmatization has bremish the images of sexual minorities and created moral panic in the society.

Negative attitude towards LGBT
It is believed that the public view of homosexuality as unacceptable is partly formed due to the lack of anti-discrimination legislation. According to the survey conducted by Caritas and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 54.6% of the interviewees have bias or negative views on sexual minorities (Chan 2005:70).
There are two videos showing some attitudes and opinions of different people:
1st video - Click here: Hong Kong on Homosexuality and Gay Activism (access directly on youtube is required)
HK_video2.jpg
The 1st video shows some social attitudes towards homosexuality:
  • try to avoid investigating into the issue deeply: Some interviewees keep saying they are not familiar with homosexuality, and avoid giving comments about LGBT.
  • on surface, people seem to accept homosexuality, but when deeper questions are asked, it seems to be unacceptable. The male interviewed at the end of the video points out that same-sex couples had better avoid kiss or hug in public, and thinks that these behaviors are not appropriate to be shown.

2nd video: Same-sex marriage in Hong Kong

The 2nd video shows some opposition based on moral judgement:
  • homosexuality is argued to undermine social agreed family value:
from the video, one can notice that LGBT is criticized based on the so-called moral values. Since peopl think LGBT violates ordinary social norms, it is concluded that some people in Hong Kong regards LGBT as somethings special, immoral, and not nature.