Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The LGBT Fight in Hong Kong Continues

Books on LGBT should be easily available in Hong Kong's libraries
Hong Kong is still in the dark ages when it comes to LGBT issues.

The latest battle is in the city's libraries. In April, an anti-LGBT group, the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group, complained to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department about how 10 LGBT books for children were easily accessible.

Some of the LGBT books in Hong Kong's libraries
The library complied and moved the books, one of which has the title And Tango Makes Three to the "closed stacks" sections of local libraries. This meant readers would need to file a request to borrow the books.

Since then a gay rights activist has applied for a judicial review of the decision, and now Human Rights Watch has written a letter to the head of the Home Affairs Bureau and the LCSD criticizing this arrangement, as it limits citizens' access to information about homosexuality and discriminated against LGBT youth based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

"Discriminatory placement of LGBT content in libraries not only sends a stigmatizing message that LGBT content is inherently inappropriate, but deprives people of their right to access information that could be important to their development, health, and safety," wrote the group's LGBT rights advocacy director Boris Dittrich.

Roy Kwong can't understand why these books are restricted
He also warned Hong Kong's actions would violate its international obligation to protect equality, and that it could also contradict Unesco's public library manifesto, which states it should provide services "on the basis of equality of access for all".

The LCSD previously said it would adhere to the manifesto but not use library materials to promote a point of view. Hello! This is a library! It is a place to get information whether one agrees with it or not!

Democratic Party lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu, who sat on the government-appointed Public Library Advisory Committee, said it was alarming for the public library to limit certain books, and that doing so was against the norms of an open society.

The fact that the LCSD bowed to pressure from one group without any kind of public discussion illustrates how scared the government is about angering certain groups in society.

Roger Wong is pushing a homophobic agenda in Hong Kong
And the irony is that the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group is convened by Roger Wong Wai-ming -- Joshua Wong Chi-fung's father.

The son is pushing for some kind of democracy in Hong Kong, and the father wants to promote bigotry.

One household, two different views.

Hong Kong needs to be more open to diverse backgrounds, sexual orientation, languages and cultures in order to compete effectively on the global stage.

Why are we letting bigotry prevent us from being better?

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