Hong Kong LGBTQ & Gender

LGBTQ equality: Gov’t to wait on new anti-discrimination law, says equality watchdog chief

The government has said that it will wait until after the election of the next chief executive in March, 2017 before it will consider enacting a law against sexual orientation discrimination, according to Alfred Chan Cheung-ming, the chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

He said he had been told that the government would then decide whether to set up a group to look into the commission’s suggestions, which were made earlier this year.

alfred chan

Alfred Chan at the LGBT event at Causeway Bay. Photo: Dan Garrett.

Chan, who was speaking at an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the commission, said he was “a little worried” that the matter would have to wait for a new government, according to HK01.

The EOC chief said that the commission had followed up on more than 13,300 complaints from 1996 to August of this year. He also said that he would continue to push equal opportunities into the mainstream. He highlighted the EOC’s limited powers, such as having no ability to start the legislation process.

Other figures, such as Jasper Tsang Yok-tsing, a pro-Beijing figure and a former president of the Legislative Council, were also at the event. He said that during the eight years he was the president of the Legislative Council, he had met with two former EOC chairpersons the most, according to Sing Tao Daily.

Jasper Tsang

Jasper Tsang. Photo: Cloud.

Tsang also said that Hong Kong is more inclusive than it was 20 years ago.

Chan’s appointment to the chair of the commission sparked controversy this year as he said that the current laws were enough to protect the rights of sexual minorities shortly before he came into office.

He has since changed his position and called for more protections. In July, he said that the government was slow in enacting anti-discrimination legislation.

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LGBTQ equality: Gov't to wait on new anti-discrimination law, says equality watchdog chief