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Hong Kong’s gay politician in parliament brawl

Hong Kong’s gay politician in parliament brawl

Hong Kong's only openly-gay politician, Ray Chan (in pink shirt) (Photo: Twitter)

Hong Kong’s only openly-gay lawmaker, Ray Chan, was at the heart of scuffles that broke out in Hong Kong’s parliament on Saturday (11 May).

Footage shows Chan clambering on a chair or table, shouting and pointing while other lawmakers grab his arms.

Tensions in parliament rose over a controversial extradition law that would extend China’s powers over the city.

‘For those who know me, I usually keep a meek composure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic drinks, and treat everyone with respect’ Chan wrote on Twitter.

‘But when an authoritarian state strikes, every fiber of my being turns into a fighter for my constituents’, he said.

Several lawmakers fell to the floor. One was taken out on a stretcher and another was seen with his arm in a sling.

China and Hong Kong

The law under discussion would let authorities remove people accused of a crime to countries without a formal extradition agreement, including mainland China.

Critics say it would infringe freedom and autonomy in the special administrative region of China.

Chan is a pro-democracy lawmaker. He clashed with lawmakers aligned with Beijing.

The UK handed its former colony back to China in 1997. But, China agreed to govern Hong Kong under a ‘one country two systems’ for 50 years.

Under this system, Hong Kong is not subject to China law and retains a higher level of freedom of the press and free speech.

But, Beijing is increasingly influencing the region and activists are hitting back demanding greater democracy.

Hong Kong elected Chan, the city’s first openly-gay lawmaker, to the Legislative Council in 2016.

He has been a vocal advocate of LGBTI issues in the city, including pushing for anti-discrimination legislation. Late last year he was the victim of an online smear campaign.

See also

Hong Kong’s flagship airline launches same-sex couple ad

Pastor in court challenge to conduct same-sex weddings in Hong Kong 

Hong Kong Govt struggles to justify discriminatory treatment in court