The Hong Kong legislature is set to debate the legalisation of civil unions between gay couples this year, reports Gay Star News.
A motion to discuss same sex marriage was proposed by Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, Hong Kong’s first and only openly gay member of parliament, in January of this year.
The 43-year-old, who is also a radio presenter and the former chief executive officer of Hong Kong Reporter, posted this message on his Facebook account:
In January this year, I submitted a motion to the Legislative Council urging the government to conclude a civil union law, and legislate to protect the rights of same-sex couples who enter a relationship.
While the motion would not be binding on the government, its passing might represent increased recognition of the LGBT community in the largely conservative city.
In 2013, thousands of members of the Christian Taliban rallied against the passing of a law that would outlaw discrimination against sexual minorities in Hong Kong.
While gay marriage is currently not permitted anywhere in Hong Kong or mainland China, a Taiwanese city recently allowed same-sex couples to register their partnership at the city’s household registration offices—although this is regarded as merely symbolic, rather than legal, recognition of same-sex partnerships.
Gay rights laws and discrimination have been in the spotlight recently. Just this week, Vietnam banned gay erotic novels, most of which originate from China.
By Liam Bourke
[Image via Wiki Commons]