Thousands rally for equal rights in Hong Kong Pride

Thousands of people took part in a Pride parade in Hong Kong today, including the Equal Opportunities Commission chairman.

Alfred Chan Cheung-ming joined a handful of top diplomats and nearly 7,000 people in the rain to march for equality.

The chairman said: “I would hope that after March the government would promise to hold a consultation on the issue, and hopefully by the end of next year we would have a drafting committee.”

He indicated that there were “encouraging” signs of progress despite progress on equality issues being slow.

“The government already promised a liaison group with the EOC, so we can start looking at how recommendations should move forward,” he said.

Currently discrimination legislation only covers race, sex, disability and family status so many advocates are calling for sexual and gender identity to be pulled in line.

Yeo Wai-wai, a spokeswoman for the pride parade, said: “The purpose and the demand of this year’s parade is to urge the government to do something on the legislation, such as a public consultation. We think it is the right time to do so.

“We do not think the government will do it during this term, but we hope the next government will start the process.”

Yeo explained that marchers wore green to signify that the Hong Kong population has “already given the green light to the LGBT community,” especially when it comes to combating sexual and gender discrimination.

“We think it’s about time for the government to put it into law,” Yeo added.