Raymond Chan, Hong Kong's first openly
gay lawmaker, says he will push for the legalization of gay marriage
in the former British colony.
The 40-year-old Chan, known as “Slow
Beat” from his days hosting a radio shown known as Fast Slow
Beats, won a seat in Hong Kong's legislature last weekend.
A member of the pro-democracy People
Power party, Chan came out gay after he captured his seat, declaring
he would become a champion for LGBT rights.
“If I can't fight for my own rights,
how can I help the oppressed and the underdogs?” he told the AFP.
“As a lawmaker – whether I like a man or a woman – it doesn't
affect my capability or my political ideologies.”
Despite Hong Kong's progressive image,
homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1991 and anti-gay sentiment
“Hong Kong is definitely lagging
behind,” Chan said. “There is no protection for gay couples. I
hope we can enact laws to ban discrimination against one's sexual
orientation as soon as possible and of course, the long-term goal is
to amend the laws to allow same-sex marriage.”
Chan added that he has received
overwhelming support for coming out.