The Hong Kong government claims it is fair to the LGBTI community: so prove it

Kathmandu (Pahichan) October 30 – As such, it is particularly galling for the government to claim in the Hong Kong section of the most recent national report to the UN Human Rights Council that it “continues to promote equal opportunities for persons with different sexual orientation and transgender persons”. That is utterly misleading.

But it is not too late for the government to have an epiphany and demonstrate to society and the international community that it is serious in eradicating discrimination against LGBTI people.

To begin with, the government should start drafting a sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination ordinance. Education is simply not enough; we need a law – as an expressed voice of society – that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and intersex status will not be tolerated.

In jurisdictions where same-sex relationships are recognised, the sky hasn’t fallen, and the institution of marriage remains strong. Same-sex relationships are as loving, caring and serious as straight relationships, and they deserve legal recognition in Hong Kong.

We need a self-declaration gender recognition scheme to address the needs of transgender persons. The current system that requires mandatory sex-reassignment surgery is inhumane and amounts to torture. We should respect their bodily autonomy, and let them decide the best course of action for themselves.

As far as intersex persons are concerned, the current practice of asking parents to decide the gender for their intersex children (with the implication of subjecting these children to invasive surgeries) is outrageous. It causes unnecessary mental stress and physical harm to the children and their families.

We call upon the government to respect the bodily integrity of these children and let them make an informed decision about their gender and what, if any, surgeries they wish to undergo once they have reached the age of majority.

Through the Hong Kong Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Coalition, we have made specific recommendations on LGBTI rights. Is the government listening?

Source : scmp