There is a pressing need for the government to begin steps towards LGBT legislation, the Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Alfred Chan, said on Sunday on Commercial Radio.

“The more [LGBT] activities I attend, the more I believe that the need to have a law that protects them is very great. And when I hear their separate stories, there is still discrimination and bullying against [LGBT members],” said Chan. There is a “pressing need to have a law that protects their rights and opportunities.”

Photo: HKFP.

He added that “Establishing a law is only the lowest bar of action. If we want the entire society to accept minorities having equal opportunities… since we’re talking about a change in mindset, we’re saying that in the long run… it is not something that the law can do.”

He said that there were religious groups which worry whether their freedom of religion and speech will be affected. Chan said that the commission should be a communication platform for milder parties on both sides.

Photo: Stand News.

Chan also said that he will work on the 73 recommendations left for him by York Chow Yat-ngok. Among them 27 projects, including those covering the disabled, minorities, pregnant working women, and LGBT, are classified as high priority.

Chan said last Sunday that a public consultation for LGBT anti-discrimination legislation should be launched within in a year. He was attending an event in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.