Support in Hong Kong for Same-Sex Couples’ Rights Grew Over Four Years (2013-2017), Over Half of People in Hong Kong Now Support Same-Sex Marriage
Briefing Paper (2018), The University of Hong Kong-Centre for Comparative and Public Law
12 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2018 Last revised: 23 Oct 2018
Date Written: July 2, 2018
Has public opinion concerning gay men and lesbians and their rights changed over time? Although much research has examined this question as it relates to other parts of the world, data on Hong Kong has been limited. This briefing paper helps to fill this gap.
Our report is based on the first study ever to track changes over time in Hong Kong public opinion concerning legal protections for gay men and lesbians. In this study, we conducted a telephone survey of a representative sample of Hong Kong residents in 2013. We repeated this survey in 2017. During these two waves of data collection, interviewers asked respondents the same questions, except in 2017 we added a question about granting immigration rights to same-sex couples. This report examines changes in public opinion by comparing the data from the 2013 and 2017 surveys.
A growing number of people in Hong Kong say they favor protecting gay and lesbian rights. In 2013, only a minority of Hong Kong people said that same-sex couples should be permitted to marry (38%). By 2017, however, over half of people expressed agreement with same-sex marriage (50.4%). Our study also asked respondents about rights related to specific issues, namely hospital visitation, housing discrimination, fatal accidents, and property inheritance. In 2013, a majority of Hong Kong people already favored same-sex couples’ rights in each of these areas, and those numbers grew by 2017. Over four years, there was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of people who agreed that same-sex couples should have rights in each of these areas.
In 2017, 78% of Hong Kong people said that same-sex couples should have at least some of the rights enjoyed by different-sex couples, compared with 73% in 2013. In addition, 69% of people in 2017 said that Hong Kong should have a law to protect against sexual orientation discrimination, compared with 58% in 2013. We also found, when asking a general question about social acceptance, there was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of people who said they are accepting of gay men and lesbians.
Keywords: Hong Kong, Public Opinion, Gay, Lesbian, Same-sex, Tongzhi, Marriage, LGBT, LGBTI, SOGI, SOGISC
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