Hong Kong’s Parliament Refuses To Consider Marriage Equality

Currently no countries in Asia offer any form of legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

And, for the moment, that’s how it will remain after Hong Kong’s Parliament voted down a measure that would have considered granting ‘equal rights’ to same-sex couples by a margin of 27 to 24, according to The Guardian.

“The government keeps avoiding studying policies for homosexual groups,” openly gay lawmaker Raymond Chan told the South Morning Post.

As the official who proposed the legislation, he demanded, “Opponents of this motion have to explain why they reject even such a small step forward.”

A socially-conservative region of the world, no countries in Asia offer same-sex marriage or civil unions. Opponents of such legal actions say any recognition of gay or lesbian relationships could negatively impact society.

Hong Kong has been slightly more liberal on LGBTQ issues having decriminalized homosexuality in 1991, as well as agreeing to recognize same-sex relationships when considering visas for visiting dependents.

The motion by Chan wasn’t even a move to make marriage equality legal. It would have simply asked the government  “to study the formulation of policies for homosexual couples to enter into a union so that they can enjoy equal rights as heterosexual couples.”

In related news, citizens of Taiwan will vote on a referendum this Saturday on the question of whether the island nation should recognize same-sex marriages, as well as whether homosexuality should be included in educational curriculum. 

In 2017, Taiwan’s high court ruled that gay and lesbian couples should have the right to marry and gave the country’s legislative body two years to make marriage equality legal.

The most socially liberal nation in the Asia region, over 130,000 attended Taiwan's Pride Parade this year.

(h/t The Guardian)

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