Politicians supporting equal rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people are mostly viewed favourably or neutrally, a poll commissioned by Suen Yiu-tung, an assistant professor of gender studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has revealed.
The survey was conducted by interviewing a random sample of 1,013 Hongkongers by phone from August 3 to 15.
According to the survey:
- 76 per cent of respondents said that they viewed politicians who supported equal rights for LBG people favourably, or said that they believed that it would not affect their opinion. 23 per cent said that they would view the politician negatively.
- In contrast, those politicians who opposed equality for LGB people were viewed unfavourably by 52 per cent of those interviewed.
- Only 14 per cent had favourable views. Of those who were religious, 43.5 per cent held negative view for politicians opposed to LGB equality, while around 20.8 per cent had positive views.
- For those who were politically pro-establishment, 35.1 per cent reported negative views for those opposed to LGB equality while 31.2 per cent reported positive views.
- 47.4 per cent of those who were pro-establishment viewed those politicians supporting equal rights for LGB individuals unfavourably, while 13.5 per cent viewed them favourably.
- For those with a localist stance, 68.2 per cent viewed politicians supporting LGB equal rights positively, while 74.4 per cent in the same camp viewed politicians opposing LGB equality negatively.
Suen told HKFP that “Before this, I would think that the public would be more opposed to politicians taking a [positive] stance, because this is what is said in society… [I]n these few years, along with the discussion, the public has slowly learnt to set apart the equality of LGB individuals and their own moral systems and values.”
“Politicians might not need to fear such a strong public backlash as it may have been imagined for supporting equal rights for LGB people,” said a policy brief of the study.
Suen also told HKFP that they would continue the study, which also encompasses the public view on companies that publicly support LGB equality.
Whilst transgender people were not included in this study, Suen said that they may be included in future studies. “We have a lot of questions which are related to policy, but talking about same-sex marriage, that is a little different from the concerns of transgender people. So we thought that it would be more fair, that when we haven’t included so many questions, that we don’t ask about it for now. But for the future, we think that it is a very important topic.”