Sexual Orientation Discrimination Legislation for Hong Kong

(中文版本請往下看) Hong Kong’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community is estimated to be between 300,000 – 600,000 of the population. Since the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1991, little has been achieved in terms of legal protection for the community. Two anti-discrimination bills were proposed in 1995 and 1997 respectively and were both defeated narrowly in the Legislative Council. The LGBT community is faced with discrimination day to day without legal recourse. In 2003-04, discrimination-related cases amounted to 71, exceeding the total number of cases in family status (a legislated area) and racial (to be legislated) discrimination in the same period. Discrimination takes the form of unequal treatment, disparate effect, harassment, victimization and vilification in areas such as employment, education, provision of goods, facilities, services and membership to professional and social institutions. Because of the lack of protective law, victims of discrimination are often reluctant to make a complaint, not to mention there is no complaint mechanism throughout the government to handle sexual orientation discrimination cases. The recorded level of 71 complaints per year is only the tip of the iceberg. Many cases of discrimination went unnoticed and unreported. In order to gauge public support of an anti-discrimination bill, the government will commission a third party to conduct a survey on public attitudes towards gays and lesbians and protective measures for them. There will be no Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SOD) Bill if there is insufficient support from the public. A recent survey within the Public Affairs Forum organized by the government showed that only 34% of the forum members (selected from government contacts of the middle class in Hong Kong) are in favour of the bill. Another survey in the same forum showed that only 29% of the respondents considered there was widespread sexual orientation discrimination in Hong Kong. As a member of the LGBT community, we all have witnessed instances of discrimination, if not experienced them ourselves. It is important that we voice out the need to outlaw discrimination against us. It is important that the public knows about our needs and the prevalence of discrimination before the survey takes place. If you are not a member of the LGBT community, I trust you too agree to equality for all and legislation to protect us from discrimination. Thus, I am urging you to sign this petition in support of a SOD Bill which will outlaw discrimination against us. It will also convey a strong message to the public and the government of how serious discrimination is in Hong Kong. Summary of our position: • SOD legislation does not warrant legalization of same-sex marriage • SOD law is about equal access to employment, education, facilities and services • SOD legislation does not mean nor require moral approval of homosexuals from the society • Freedom of opinion will not be proscribed by the law • Neither SOD law or the absence of it can promote a particular sexual orientation • SOD is to fulfil international and constitutional obligations to eliminate discrimination • Equal rights, not special rights • Reverse discrimination is not an issue with the SOD law • SOD law is about “equity”, not “charity” • SOD law cannot be abused by anyone claiming to be homosexuals • Effective elimination of discrimination requires both education and legislation • Discrimination based on sexual orientation is prevalent in Hong Kong • Public opinion shall be sought but not as a pre-requisite to legislation You are encouraged to write to the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Home Affairs to express your support for the legislation: Mr Donald TSANG Yam-kuen Acting Chief Executive HKSAR Government 5/F, Central Government Offices, Main Wing, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong Fax: (852) 2509 0577 ceo@ceo.gov.hk Dr Patrick HO Chi-ping Secretary for Home Affairs HKSAR Government 31/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Fax: (852) 2591 6002 hab1@hab.gov.hk N.B.: To sign the petition, please provide both first (can be in initials) and last names. The email you provide is for verification of identity only and will not be published. For HK residents, please select country as “China, HKSAR”. (Chinese follows) 爭取香港性傾向歧視立法 香港的同志社群(當中包括:女∕男同性戀、雙性戀及跨性別人士等)佔全港整體人口的 30-60 萬。自1991 年男同性性行為非刑事化以來,同志社群爭取法律保障的工作,並無明顯進展。反歧視法草案曾於1995 及1997 年提交立法會審議,兩次均以些微票數之差不獲通過。同志依然生活在歧視的威脅下,而得不到法律的保障。在2003/04 年度,有關性傾向歧視的個案多達71 宗,數目超越同期之(已立法的)家庭崗位及(即將立法的)種族歧視個案。當中涉及僱傭、教育、提供貨品、設施、服務及招收會員等範疇下,發生的不平等待遇、間接歧視、騷擾、報復行為(Victimization) 及中傷等。在缺乏法律保障的情況下,歧視個案的受害人往往不願意提出申訴,即使受害人願意挺身而出,政府現行亦沒有機制處理有關個案。因此,一年內有紀錄的 71 宗投訴,只是冰山一角,相信還有更多沒人察覺或沒有申訴的個案存在。 為掌握公眾對反歧視草案的支持度,政府將委任獨立人士調查公眾對同性戀者以及有關保障措施的態度。如果民意調查結果反映有關支持度不足,相信政府對提出草擬性傾向歧視法案有一定困難。在最近公共事務論壇(一個由政府委任的中產人士組成的論壇)裡,支持有關法案的只有百分之三十四,而認為香港廣泛存在性傾向歧視的則只有百分之二十六。作為同志社群的一份子,即使我們可能未曾經歷,但我們也曾目睹歧視發生。我們必須發聲讓針對我們的歧視行為受法律制裁。在民意調查進行前,我們也必須讓公眾知道我們的需要,及歧視的普遍性。故此,我促請您參與聯署支持性傾向歧視法案,令針對我們的歧視受法律規管;即使您不是同志,我相信支持平等原則的您同樣會支持法案。你的聯署也會向公眾及政府傳遞訊息,表達香港的歧視情況不容忽視。 我們的立場 - 性傾向歧視法不代表同性婚姻合法化 - 性傾向歧視法只保障僱傭、教育、貨品提供、設施、服務以及專業及社會組職的會員資格的平等機會 - 性傾向歧視法不代表或需求整體社會對同性戀的道德認同 - 有關法例將不會禁制表達意見的自由 - 法例存在與否均不能推廣某一種性傾向 - 性傾向歧視立法是履行消除歧視的國際及憲法責任 - 我們爭取的是平權,不是特權 - 性傾向歧視法不會引致逆向歧視 - 我們要求的是「平等」,而非「恩惠」 - 性傾向歧視法不會被任何自稱同性戀的人濫用 - 要有效消除歧視,必須教育及立法並行 - 基於性傾向的歧視在香港極為普遍 - 了解公眾意見雖然重要,但不是立法的先決條件 我促請您致函行政長官及民政事務局局長表達您對立法的支持: 曾蔭權先生 署理行政長官 香港特別行政區政府 香港中環下亞厘畢道 中區政府合署中座五樓 傳真:(852) 2509 0577 ceo@ceo.gov.hk 何志平醫生 民政事務局局長 香港特別行政區政府 香港灣仔軒尼斯道130號 修頓中心31樓 傳真:(852) 2591 6002 hab1@hab.gov.hk (請留意,簽署可輸入中文,先名後姓;簽署必須具名具姓,不接受綽號或網名等,電郵只用作確保簽名不重複,不會公開刊登;香港居民請在國家一欄選擇China, HKSAR)

Sponsor

842 Individuals (up to 04:00 7-May) and 17 organizations have signed this petition! Roddy Shaw roddy@cr4sd.org Civil Rights for Sexual Diversities (852) 90944426 Women Coalition of Hong Kong Blessed Minority Christian Fellowship F’Union Transgender Equality and Acceptance Movement (TEAM) Hong Kong Ten Percent Club Rainbow of Hong Kong Rainbow Action Rainbow Fellowship AIDS Concern Chi Heng Foundation Over The Rainbow Queer Sisters Amnesty International Hong Kong Hong Kong Association for Advancement of Feminism Ziteng Lesbo

Links

Equal Opportunities work done by the Home Affairs Bureau regarding sexual orientation: http://www.hab.gov.hk/en/policy_responsibilities/the_rights_of_the_individuals/equal.htm Equal Opportunities Commission http://www.eoc.org.hk Unit (GISOU) to boost sexual orientation equality set http://news.gov.hk/en/category/healthandcommunity/050428/html/050428en05002.htm To see who has signed this petition: http://www.cr4sd.org/rightnow/signaturesindex.htm To see people\'s comments on signing this petition: http://www.cr4sd.org/rightnow/comments.htm

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