Gays Fight ‘Archaic’ Laws in Hong Kong
United Press International,
June 23, 2004
Hong Kong, China—Gay rights
activists in Hong Kong are challenging laws that place the age of consent for
homosexuals at 21 and threaten life imprisonment for infringement.
Under current laws, sex and “gross indecency” between
men aged under 21 is a crime punishable by up to life in prison, whereas the
age for consensual heterosexual sex is 16. Lesbian relationships are not
mentioned in the law.
The activists are seeking equality under the law, and
appealing to the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government,
the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.
Roddy Shaw of Civil Rights for Sexual Diversities called
the laws “archaic,” and said his group had taken the issue to the
Legislative Council before but “there was no compassion.” He said the
legislators were concerned that “gay predators could then go to kids between
16 and 21 and molest them.”
A spokeswoman for the Security Bureau said the issue had
been fully considered and debated in 1991. “Homosexuality is still a
sensitive subject in our society,” she said.
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