Hong Kong not to go US way on gay marriages

BEIJING (TIP): Hong Kong is unlikely to follow the US example of allowing gay marriages, its Equal Opportunities Commission has said. The political system in the city, which is witness to pro~democracy agitation, is not yet ready for same sex marriage, the Commission’s head, York Chow Yat-ngok, said.

“Just look at how legislators view equal rights for gays and lesbians, not to mention marriage. How much support would you say there is among the legislators? I am not too optimistic about this,” Chow said in a radio show.

There may be differing opinions on same-sex marriage among the legislators, but the majority will not be in support of the idea of legalizing it, he said. In fact, he did not expect it to happen in his life time.

“I don’t know how long I will live. I am quite old now,” he was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.

Hong Kong is regarded as an international city with a vast expatriate population, and a strong sense of democratic rights.

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The Commission had no power or mandate to push forward the same-sex marriage law in Hong Kong, he said, adding that it is only the legislative council which can deal with the subject of legalizing gay marriages.

In fact, a recent proposal to outlaw sexual discrimination did not received enthusiastic public support while the local courts also took a “passive” approach towards it, he said.

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