According to a new study which was published yesterday, nearly 92% of Hong Kong youth support protections for LGBTQ+ people.
This study was commissioned by the government’s Equal Opportunities Commission, and revealed that sadly discrimination against LGBT people is common in employment, education, provision of services, disposal and management of premises and even government functions.
There is an upside, though, as a telephone survey found that public opinion is now in favour of anti-discrimination legislation being put into place. More than half of the respondents, or 55.7% to be exact, were in support. This is nearly double the figure which was recorded a decade ago,which sat at 28.7%.
As mentioned in the title, a huge proportion (91.8%) of people aged 18-24 agreed that anti-discrimination laws are necessary and 48.9% of people with religious beliefs agreed.
Chairperson of the EOC, York Chow, had this to say: “This study is the most comprehensive of its kind in Hong Kong. Discriminatory treatment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status has no place in an international city and business centre such as Hong Kong.”
“Such discrimination harms LGBTI individuals physically, emotionally, and financially. They also hurt the city’s ability to attract and retain talent, as well as our longstanding reputation as an open and welcoming society. It is time that the government considers the next steps to ensuring legal protection against discrimination for the LGBTI community.”
The study also recommends calling for public consultation on anti-discrimination legislation, as well as giving anti-discrimination training to frontline government officials and workers and widening public education in order to dispel myths and misconceptions about LGBT people. Finally, they are recommending an expansion of support measures for LGBT people.
These positive findings were welcomed by LGBTQ+ group Pink Alliance, who also urged the government to act on the recommendations.
Billy Leung, vice-chair of the Pink Alliance, had this to say: “The findings highlight discrimination experienced by sexual and gender minorities in all aspect of their lives. That sexual and gender minorities are discriminated against, this is an undeniable fact. The focus of our discussion should be on the substance of the draft legislation and reasonable exemptions, not whether we should legislate.”
“Commencing the legislative process helps bridging the views of all key stakeholders and to balance the diverse perspectives in the society. It also avoids costly litigation arising from outdated and unfair policies.”