Lam still exercised by Gay Games

Local | Amy Nip Nov 15, 2017
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is still refraining from congratulating Hong Kong's successful bid to host the 2022 Gay Games, but insists the SAR is an inclusive city.

Hong Kong won the right to host the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) version of the Olympics in November 2022, beating Guadalajara, Mexico, and Washington, DC.

Since the announcement in Paris two weeks ago, the government and Lam have only said they "noted" the win. Before attending the Executive Council meeting yesterday, Lam was asked by a reporter how Hong Kong can claim to be inclusive and international when the government gave the win the cold shoulder - refusing to "welcome" or "congratulate" it.

"Well, Hong Kong is an inclusive city. We have the Equal Opportunities Commission and all the necessary institutions in place," she said. "But I think we have to also listen to the opinion and views and sentiments of the rest of the community.

"So I can assure you that we will continue to be a very inclusive society."

Dennis Philipse, founder and chairman of the Hong Kong bid team, said the Games promote inclusiveness and diversity in arts, sports and culture. Everybody, not just those from the LGBTI community, can join the nine-day event. "It doesn't have any political goals," he said.

Asked if the administration was being too conservative in not congratulating an event saluting diversity, Philipse said he could not speak for the government.

"We will continue discussions with the Hong Kong government to make it successful for Hong Kong."

A logo and the slogan, "Unity in Diversity," are already in place. A sail, in rainbow colors, represents diversity in the LGBT+ community. The boat, which is in a form of a hand, represents humanity.

The two-colored waves represent the sea that unites all continents and maneuvering the ship towards "unity in diversity," Philipse said. Philipse and his team will attend the 2018 Paris Games from August 4 to 12, with 36 sports and 14 cultural events.

Anti-gay marriage groups such as the Society For Truth And Light had been against the government endorsing the HK Gay Games, which is expected to draw 15,000 participants and 40,000 spectators.

Hong Kong has no law against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. There is also no gay marriage or civil union.

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December 2018