Politician continues social media assualt on gay Hong Kong protest leader

Politician continues social media assualt on gay Hong Kong protest leader
Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chiang (left) and protest leader Jimmy Sham (right). (Photo: Facebook)

A pro-establishment Hong Kong lawmaker doubled down on her attacks on a gay protest leader last week.

Ann Chiang Lai-wan had previously accused Jimmy Sham, who has helped organized million-strong marches against a government bill, of hiding his sexuality.

Chiang earlier this month shared footage of Sham in drag. ‘Important news, please spread around’ she wrote.

Comments on the post included: ‘Corrupting social morals, just disgusting’ and ‘Deliberately concealing that, for power, money or fame?’, according to the South China Morning Post.

LGBTI rights activists appealed to the city’s equality watchdog. And, Facebook took down the post as it does ‘not allow content that attacks someone based on their sexual orientation’, according to the SCMP.

Sham, of the Civil Human Rights Front, welcomed the action. ‘By saying [my sexual orientation] was important news, Chiang was effectively endorsing questionable views in the video. Shouldn’t we demand more from our honourable lawmakers?’ He said.

Sham also said he had been public about his sexuality and identified himself as a member of LGBTI rights group Rainbow Action, according to the SCMP.

But, on Friday (19 July), Chiang took to Facebook to go after Sham.

‘If the line “important news, please spread around” is an attack, that only proves that although you’ve come out, you’re not ready yet.’

‘Jimmy Sham, if you’ve already come out, then face it. Don’t easily complain someone’s attacking you, understood?’

What is happening in Hong Kong?

Hong Kongers have launched unprecedented demonstrations against the government as they protest an extradition law.

At their biggest, protests have attracted two million.

The law under discussion would let authorities remove people accused of a crime to countries without a formal extradition agreement, including mainland China.

Critics say it would infringe freedom and autonomy in the special administrative region of China.

Although the city’s chief executive promised to shelve the law after mass protests, demonstrators want it completely withdrawn.

China’s courts are considered neither free nor fair. They regularly impede human rights to freedom of speech, assembly, and religion.

The UK handed its former colony back to China in 1997. But, China agreed to govern Hong Kong under ‘one country, two systems’ for 50 years.

Under this system, Hong Kong is not subject to China law and retains its own levels of freedom of the press and free speech.

But, Beijing is increasingly influencing the region. Activists are hitting back demanding democracy.

Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriage. Nor is there any anti-discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI people.

A report released last month detailed the more than 100 ways same-sex couples are discriminated against.

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Author: Rik Glauert