Hong Kong Gays Fight Sex Laws
July 25, 2002
By Peter Hacker
Hong Kong—Five gay rights activists want Hong Kong’s
law against gay sex declared illegal. The five lodged an official complaint
Thursday with the Equal Opportunities Commission.
The group is arguing the law, which bans anal intercourse, violates Hong
Kong’s civil rights laws by discriminating against gay men.
Hong Kong can imprison a man for life for having anal intercourse with
another male who is under 21, but the law does not prevent the same act
between a man and a woman under 21.
"There are people who fall victim to this law every year," said
Tommy Chen, 28, the leader of the group.
"Such discrimination is so obvious, but the government still refuses
to amend the laws," said Chen.
In a statement, the government said the law is intended " to prevent
young men from making decisions about engaging in homosexual acts before they
are mature enough."
"Despite a lower age of consent for homosexual intercourse in some
other countries ... it would be inappropriate for Hong Kong to follow other
countries without due regard to the local circumstances," the Home
Affairs Bureau said .
Mariana Law, a spokesperson for the Equal Opportunities Commission said
officials would consult with their lawyers about the complaint.
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