Pride Month: Gigi Chao On Marriage Equality In Hong Kong
Last month, Gigi Chao—successful businesswoman, avid aviator, active philanthropist and advocate of LGBT rights—officially launched Hong Kong Marriage Equality (HKME), a community-focused, non-partisan social campaign with the goal of achieving marriage equality for same-sex couples in Hong Kong.
"There’s not a lot of in-your-face discrimination in Hong Kong, so that leads to a seen-but-not-heard situation in some families," she told us at our LGTB roundtable last year. To mark LGBT Pride Month, we asked Gigi why marriage equality is important to change the conversation in Hong Kong:
Besides yourself, who is on the steering committee for Hong Kong Marriage Equality?
The steering committee comprises activists, allies, professionals, and business leaders. Notable members include lawyer Azan Marwah, well-known LGBT activist Billy Leung, academic Suen Yiu-tung, and business leader Fern Ngai.
How do you feel Hong Kong as a city will benefit from equal marriage rights?
Hong Kong’s competitive edge will be further enhanced with marriage equality because it tells the world that the city is inclusive and embraces family diversity. This will make Hong Kong more attractive to global talent, for many years the powerhouse behind our city's history of phenomenal growth.
See also: Heli-hiking in New Zealand With Gigi Chao
Why has Hong Kong not stepped up, in your opinion?
The majority of Hong Kong residents are open and receptive to social change. However, the conversation has occasionally been taken over by some conservative groups who have been very vocal in their opposition. Emotionally charged, negative comments can make constructive dialogue on the issue very challenging.
Research has shown that public opinion is changing however, and I am confident that ultimately we will win hearts and minds, and realise marriage equality.
How can we show our support?
Be vocal in your support, don't be a silent majority. Talk to your friends and colleagues, and help them to understand why marriage equality is important, that it will enhance the institution of marriage, not harm it.
In addition, consider volunteering for the cause or making a donation. The support of non-LGBT allies goes a long way towards addressing marriage equality for all.
See also: How LGBT-friendly Is Hong Kong?