Hong Kong Now Has Two Openly Gay Lawmakers

Jimmy Sham (center with red shirt and sashes) and Ray Chan (to the right of Sham) celebrate Sham’s election win / Image via Twitter @ray_slowbeat

Hong Kong has just elected another openly gay man to a lawmaker position.

For a while, Ray Chan was the only openly gay member of the legislative council in Hong Kong. This has made him a big name and face in the fight for LGBTQ rights and for democracy in the Chinese territory battling with political unrest.

But, the island nation recently held elections that resulted in a large Democratic wave. One splash within that wave was the addition of a new openly gay male councilmember.

As the BBC reports, the election resounded in a major upset within the district councils.

“Seventeen of the 18 district councils are now controlled by pro-democracy councilors, according to local media.” wrote the publication. “The election, the first since the wave of anti-Beijing protests began, saw an unprecedented turnout of more than 71%.”

One of those winners was Civil Human Rights Front leader Jimmy Sham. We’ve briefly reported on Sham before for his LGBTQ rights and artist rights advocacy. Namely, he represented a student performing artist who tied himself up in his underwear during Hong Kong Pride last year.

But Jimmy Sham is now moving onto much bigger things. Namely, the major lawmaking branch of the city-state. But that win doesn’t come without its sacrifices. During the campaign, Jimmy Sham was attacked by a group of men with hammers. To this day, he is still recovering and walking around with a crutch.

But despite that setback, Jimmy Sham and allies are happy to see this win. According to the New York Times, Ray Chan celebrated with Jimmy Sham on the latter’s win. A picture of which, you can see above.

In addition to Jimmy Sham entering the council, many career politicians who fought against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights have lost their district council races. This grand sweep of democratic and progressive votes reflects the ongoing push for democracy in the island being threatened by Chinese rule.

“We are trying to listen to the demands of the people and to fight for their rights,” said Sham post-election.

Source: The BBC, The New York Times, Towleroad

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