A groundbreaking study conducted in Hong Kong has revealed an extraordinary surge in support for same-sex marriage, marking an all-time high for the region. According to the study, a remarkable 60 percent of the surveyed population believes that the law should be changed to recognize same-sex marriage, showcasing a significant shift in public sentiment. This newfound support is a stark contrast to a similar survey conducted a decade ago, which indicated a mere 38 percent backing for same-sex marriage. The recent findings offer renewed hope to the LGBTQ+ community in Hong Kong.
The comprehensive report, a collaboration between the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong (UHK), the Sexualities Research Programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and the Human Rights Law Program at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Law, sheds light on the evolving landscape of LGBTQ+ rights in the former British colony.
Notably, the study not only highlighted the increasing support for same-sex marriage but also revealed a broader acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals and their rights. An impressive 71 percent of respondents expressed the need for legislation protecting against sexual-orientation discrimination, a significant rise from 58 percent in 2013. In contrast, only six percent of those surveyed disagreed with the notion of implementing protections. Encouragingly, the report also indicated a substantial decrease in the number of individuals openly unaccepting of gay men and lesbians, dropping from 32 percent in 2013 to just 13 percent today.
Holning Lau, a professor at UNC who spearheaded the research alongside Kelley Loper from UHK and Yiu-Tung Suen from CUHK, remarked on the study’s findings, stating, “Our study shows that support for the rights of same-sex couples has grown quite considerably in the past decade.” Lau further emphasized the striking increase in support for same-sex marriage and the remarkable decline in opposition to legislation combating sexual-orientation discrimination. He attributed these shifts to various factors, such as the influential court rulings in Hong Kong safeguarding the rights of same-sex couples, the expanding list of global jurisdictions legalizing same-sex marriage, and the growing representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in media platforms both locally and worldwide.
Coinciding with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, the release of this report serves as a powerful reminder of the progress made in advocating for equal rights and inclusivity in Hong Kong. As the region embraces these positive changes, the transformative study offers a glimmer of hope for a more inclusive future, where love and equality transcend barriers.