Rally to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO)
Remarks by Mr LAM Woon-kwong, Chairperson, Equal Opportunities Commission
I am here today to show my support for the LGBT community. Sexual orientation and gender identity are private issues and should be so respected. How a person chooses his/her life partners, according to their inborn sexual orientation, should not concern others. After all, it does not adversely affect any third party or public interest.
Unfortunately, people of different sexual orientation and transgender people in Hong Kong are still often treated as outcasts and face prejudices and negative stereotypes. These biases create needless difficulties in employment and in other aspects of daily life for many in the LGBT community. In a genuinely open and inclusive society, every one of us should have the freedom to be who we are irrespective of our sexual orientation and gender identity. No one should have to struggle in order to enjoy these basic rights.
There is currently no law covering discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Hong Kong. However, I consider it a mission of the EOC to advocate for equal rights for the LGBT community and their equal protection under the law against discrimination.
I have a dream that we will not need to organize any more IDAHO events in the future when our society would fully embrace people of different sexual orientation and transgender people. Until my dream comes true, I will be here to support the IDAHO event every year. Thank you!
(Note: This is a translation from the original remarks in Cantonese.)
*LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender