Date
17 August 2017
Chief equal opportunities officer Josiah Chok (inset) did not clear his presentation at a church seminar with the commission, according to a spokesman. Photos: HKEJ, http://www.eoc.org.hk
Chief equal opportunities officer Josiah Chok (inset) did not clear his presentation at a church seminar with the commission, according to a spokesman. Photos: HKEJ, http://www.eoc.org.hk

Equal opportunities officer accused of bias, unethical behavior

A senior official from Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunities Commission is under fire for alleged anti-gay bias in an ongoing public consultation on proposed discrimination law changes.

Chief equal opportunities officer Josiah Chok is being accused of using Christian groups to counter gays in a public relations campaign, Apple Daily reports.

He gave the Christian groups sample letters to help them express their views to the commission without its knowledge, according to the report.

At an Aug. 16 church seminar, Chok, who is himself a Christian, said the draft changes discriminate against churches and urged believers to reject all 77 proposals, except the one that permits sex discrimination for religious groups.

He said the proposal should be extended to marital status discrimination, according to the report.

Chok later said his comments were his own opinion and were not in conflict with his role in the commission.

A spokesman said the commission does not prohibit its employees from taking part in religious activities but they should get prior approval before they reveal any information about the work of the commission in a public forum.

Chok did not clear his presentation at the seminar with the commission, the report quoted the spokesman as saying.

Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, an openly gay legislator, accused Chok of unethical behavior and demanded he resign or the commission remove him from his post.

Meanwhile, Joseph Wong, former secretary for the Civil Service, said no public servant should jeopardize neutrality for the sake of religious beliefs and urged the commission to investigate.

The commission has been conducting public consultations on the proposed amendments to the existing ordinance which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, disability, family status and race.

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TL/AC/RA

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