Hong Kong : Plusieurs milliers de personnes pour célébrer la marche des fiertés

Hong Kong : Plusieurs milliers de personnes pour célébrer la marche des fiertés

>> Gay pride parade and Occupy movement promote equal rights in society

Des milliers de personnes ont participé ce samedi à Hong Kong au défilé de la Gay pride, certains enveloppés dans des drapeaux aux couleurs d’arc en ciel, d’autres habillés en travestis.

L’humeur était festive en dépit de la pluie, et la procession colorée d’environ 3.000 personnes, selon un journaliste de l’AFP (9.000 selon les organisateurs), a progressé dans cette ville située sur la côte sud de la Chine.

“Il y a de plus en plus de participants chaque année. Ils essaient de transmettre le message selon lequel il n’y a rien d’intrinsèquement mal à être homosexuel. Ce sont juste deux personnes qui s’aiment”, a déclaré à l’AFP Alison Yung, directrice marketing de 32 ans, à l’occasion de ce sixième défilé de cette manifestation annuelle.

Si d’aucuns étaient d’avis que beaucoup reste à faire pour que les gens soient plus tolérants, d’autres ont estimé que la cause faisait de plus en plus d’émules.

“On constate que les jeunes, même si beaucoup d’entre eux ne sont pas homosexuels, viennent nous soutenir”, a déclaré un dénommé Franck, déguisé en Marie-Antoinette.

Un milliardaire de Hong Kong avait attiré la curiosité dans le monde entier en offrant des sommes astronomiques à celui qui arriverait à séduire sa fille lesbienne. Vingt mille candidats s’étaient présentés.

Cecil Chao avait finalement retiré son offre après que sa fille Gigi eut écrit une lettre ouverte, implorant son père d’accepter son orientation sexuelle.

Lors de la marche, samedi, les supporteurs de la cause gay sont passés devant les bureaux du gouvernement central, où les manifestants prodémocratie avaient campé un mois durant pour réclamer l’instauration du suffrage universel lors de l’élection du prochain chef de l’exécutif local en 2017.

>> Hong Kong’s colourful annual gay pride parade took on an overtly political tinge yesterday as Occupy moved in, boosting numbers, adding umbrellas as well as a dose of controversy to the traditionally diverse pageant.

Thousands marched through the rain from the Victoria Park to Tamar Park to demand legislation outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. While organisers had ordered 500 rainbow umbrellas before they became the iconic symbol they are now, many more were on show, perhaps due to the Occupy factor or maybe because of the rain.
“Regardless of whether you are gay, bisexual or transgender, we all have the moral responsibility to speak out.”
Alex Chow Yong-kang

Federation of Students leaders Alex Chow Yong-kang and Lester Shum, two key figures in the Occupy protests took part and backed the call for equal gay rights

“Regardless of whether you are gay, bisexual or transgender, we all have the moral responsibility to speak out. Stand up to change the world. Confront unreasonable pride, prejudice, cruelty and indifference,” said Chow, the federation’s Secretary General addressing the crowd.

Organisers said 8,900 took part, a surge from their estimate of 5,200 last year. Police said 4,700 people were there at the peak of the march, compared with 4,500 last year.

Parade spokeswoman Alice Wei Siu-lik said ‘Umbrella Movement” students boosted the turnout. Three hundred people had signed up as volunteers for the rally, about half of whom were students, she said. More corporate sponsorship was another factor helping with publicity, she added, adding that the MTR Corporation had allowed the parade to display advertisement at all stations at a discount rate for a month.

The move to link the democracy and gay-rights wasn’t universally welcomed, the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group – an anti-gay-rights group headed by Roger Wong Wai-ming, the father of Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung, said.

“It is inappropriate to bundle a gay movement with a movement for democracy and freedom. In our understanding, the so-called demands made in the ‘equal rights movement for the gay’ are exactly contravening human rights and justice. They are even strangling freedom and democracy!” the group said.

When asked last night to respond to the controversy surrounding his father’s remarks, Joshua Wong said he was “too busy” to comment.

Wei said demonstrators on the Harcourt Road occupied zone gave positive responses to the gay rights marchers when the latter walked past and she found everyone respectful to one another during the whole parade.

The government offered a cautious response to the parade. “The society is still deeply divided as to whether legislation should be enacted to prohibit discrimination on ground of sexual orientation or gender identity. Some are in support from the perspective of equal opportunity, while others are concerned that this may deal a blow to family, religion and education. This is a highly controversial and sensitive issue in Hong Kong which must be tackled cautiously,” said a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said.

The parade came a week after the close of an Equal Opportunities Commission public consultation exercise, which sought to review the existing four discrimination ordinances covering sex, family status, disability and race. It has commissioned the Chinese University to conduct a separate study on sexual-orientation rights and a report is expected in the middle of next year.

Commission chairman York Chow Yat-ngok joined the parade for the second time, despite criticism from anti-gay groups last year. He said he hoped society could accept people with different sexual orientations.

AFP