More than 10,000 people are expected to turn out for this year’s Hong Kong Pride Parade, a march in support of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT).
The parade will take place on Nov.7 from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Tamar Park in Admiralty.
Four LGBT groups are organizing the event which last year drew nearly 9,000 marchers.
Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) chairman York Chow will lead the opening ceremony, his third for the event.
This year’s theme is “Yell Out For Equality”, a call for public tolerance of people with different sexual orientations.
The marchers are expected to press for legislation of a sexual orientation discrimination ordinance (SODO).
LGBT groups have been calling for SODO for more than 20 years but the government has been slow to respond.
This time, they are planning to send a strong signal to the government by adopting the giraffe as their mascot with the slogan “Waiting till our necks are long”.
LGBT leader Tin Fung, one of the parade organizers, said promotion and education alone are not enough to achieve acceptance and equality for gay people.
Tin cited a recent incident in which legislator Raymond Chan, Hong Kong’s first openly gay politician, was insulted in an MTR train for his sexual orientation.
Tin said there is no law to protect him.
Meanwhile, the EOC said it has consolidated various proposals on SODO and hopes the government can start the legislation process next year.
The parade is backed by 63 companies and organizations including Credit Suisse, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays.
Organizers have received HK$300,000 (US$38,710) in sponsorships.
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