A new report has revealed that more than half of people in Hong Kong agree with same-sex marriage.
According to the new research, published by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law, some 50.4 percent of Hong Kong residents surveyed in 2017 “expressed agreement” with gay couples tying the knot.
This marks a significant shift in public opinion, with the report also revealing that, in 2013, less than four in 10 (38 percent) of people in Hong Kong agreed that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
The research showed that, in 2017, 78 percent of those living in the autonomous territory said that same-sex couples should have “at least some of the rights” of heterosexual couples, compared to 73 percent in 2013.
Moreover, nearly seven in 10 people (69 percent) in Hong Kong said there should be a law to protect citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation – up from 58 percent in 2013.
The research is based on the first ever survey to monitor public opinion about legal protections for gay people in Hong Kong.
It was led by Holning Lau from the University of North Carolina, Charles Lau from RTI International, Kelley Loper from the University of Hong Kong, and Yiu-tung Suen from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong-based respondents were first surveyed in 2013, and later in 2017, for the report.
“Our study shows that support for the rights of same-sex couples has grown markedly over a short period,” said professor Yiu-tung Suen. “A few years’ time has made a significant difference.”
Professor Kelley Loper, meanwhile, said: “Our study also illuminates a discrepancy between law and public opinion.
“While 69 percent of Hong Kong people said they favour having a law to protect against sexual orientation discrimination, the government of Hong Kong has yet to enact such legislation.”
The research team also found – in a new question for 2017 – that more than half of Hong Kong citizens (53 percent) agree that those in same-sex relationships should be allowed to apply for immigration visas for their partners.
“Our research suggests that the majority of Hong Kong people support the same-sex couple in the QT case,” said professor Holning Lau.