Lawmakers reject same-sex civil partnerships in Hong Kong

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Raymond Chan, Hong Kong’s first openly gay lawmaker, put a bill before the autonomous region’s legislative council that would have opened the door to legally recognize same-sex relationships in the form of civil unions. Although attitudes towards homosexuality are more progressive in Hong Kong than in mainland China, the region is still very slow in accepting LGBT citizens and protecting their rights. Chan, of the People Power party, submitted a bill seeking a “small step” towards recognition of same-sex unions and LGBT+ rights. But the bill, which contained few concrete provisions, was rejected in a 27-24 vote in the city legislature. Holden Chow of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong warned that society would suffer if it bowed to “Western traditions,” while Priscilla Leung of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong claimed bolstering gay rights would undermine “social and family stability.”

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