LGBT groups boycott Hong Kong Government equality forum

LGBT rights groups in Hong Kong have decided to boycott a government organized LGBT rights forum after the government included ex-gay groups in it and failed to organize a meeting in over two years

LGBT groups boycott Hong Kong Government equality forum
10 March 2013

LGBT rights groups in Hong Kong have announced they will pull out of a government run Sexual Minorities Forum after the government included so-called ‘ex-gay’ groups in it and failed to even schedule a meeting of the group in over two years.

The Sexual Minorities Forum was set up by the Hong Kong Government’s Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau in 2004 to explore how government could improve LGBT rights in the territory.

However the forum has only met 11 times in that time and the government has since let in groups like the New Creation Association – a religious ex-gay group that tries to counsel homosexuals into living heterosexual lives.

In response more than 20 LGBT groups, including Hong Kong’s Pink Alliance, the International Social Service, Queer Sisters and the Transgender Equality and Acceptance Movement have announced their decision to pull out of the forum.

‘The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex organizations are saying enough is enough,’ Pink Alliance legal adviser Michael Vidler told the South China Morning Post.

The move comes after Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying backed away from a 2012 call by the government’s then Equal Opportunities Commission chairman Lam Woon-Kwong for a consultation process to look at introducing laws to ban discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

‘This is a protest and ties in with the general discontent that the government is stepping back from Lam’s position.’ Vidler said.

‘The government is not even willing to have a conversation about it, even though a forum was set up to do so.’

The forum’s last meeting was in December 2010 and no date for the forum’s next meeting has been set.

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