Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 186


EOC Chairperson calls on Government to accelerate legislation against LGBTI discrimination

On 16 May 2018, EOC Chairperson, Prof Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming released an article in am730 and the South China Morning Post to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May, urging the Government to delay no further in legislating against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

Since shelving its legislative plan in 2006 in view of divided opinions, the Government has relied heavily on public and employer education campaigns to promote LGBTI inclusion. Twelve years on, its commitment to driving legislative action remains lukewarm, despite repeated calls from monitoring bodies of the United Nations, evidence of persistent discrimination documented by NGOs and the EOC, as well as landmark court rulings that could have been capitalised on to effect more fundamental change. The EOC hopes that the Government will show greater initiative in introducing an anti-discrimination ordinance and take the lead in dispelling widespread myths, including concerns about infringement upon the freedom of speech and religion – rights that are already enshrined under the Bill of Rights Ordinance and can be further protected through exemptions in the new law.

Indeed, advocacy is a major part of the EOC’s work, and most recently we are honoured to receive recognition at the 2018 Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Awards organised by Community Business, where our Legal Counsel, Mr Peter READING won the LGBT+ Advocacy Award. Holding dear the vision of building a pluralistic and inclusive society, the EOC will continue to be a vocal supporter of equal rights and opportunities for LGBTI people.