Nearly 50 gay rights groups joined together to launch a petition calling for an anti-discrimination law in Hong Kong, after footage of two women harassing gay legislator Ray Chan on an MTR train circulated online.
South China Morning Post reports that the 46 activist groups created the petition in response to the “worsening” climate of homophobia in Hong Kong, a recent example of which was showcased in a two-minute long video uploaded by Chan last week.
In the footage, one of the middle-aged women can be heard calling the politician a “rubbish legislator” and a “mad dog barking all the time”. She also refers to him as “a man with no dick”, and the slurs about his sexuality only get more vulgar from there.
Chan said he plans on filing complaints to the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau to highlight the plights of sexual minorities who aren’t covered by anti-discrimination laws, according to the Post.
In a press conference, Chan said while the pair had caused him little harm, the government could no longer defend its inaction by just relying on education and publicity campaigns.
Separate complaints would be filed to the Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Unit under the bureau and the EOC on the grounds that the women sexually harassed him, he said.
“This is for social justice, for all sexual minorities and for all people who think it should not have happened,” Chan said.
But he was not hopeful that the current laws and legal mechanism could handle insults outside the field of education, employment, and access to services and accommodation.
The news comes weeks after the Hong Kong legislator announced that it would debate the legalization of civil unions between same-sex couples this year, after Chan proposed the motion in January.
This petition is only the latest move by activists who have long campaigned for equal rights among sexual minorities in Hong Kong. In 2013, thousands of members of the Christian Taliban gathered in Hong Kong to protest a proposed anti-discrimination law, with the rally spokesman arguing that “If this becomes the law, those who oppose homosexuality will have their freedom of speech and religion curtailed.”