Hubbub over Hong Kong same-sex marriage show

January 26, 2007

Joseph Wong Wing-ping
TOKYO – The TV show Hong Kong Connection has recently created a stir with Gay Lovers, a documentary about same-sex marriage. The minister who heads Hong Kong broadcasting, Joseph Wong Wing-ping, has said he will meet Chu Pui-hing, head of the station that produced it, soon. “A spokesman for the [government] denied it was a step towards interfering with freedom of expression,” the South China Morning Post reported.

Gay Lovers first aired July 9th during “family” hours in Hong Kong on RTHK. The show included two lesbians and a gay male.

The argument over the show is between Hong Kong’s Broadcasting Authority and RTHK. The authority felt the show was too accepting of same-sex marriages.

According to the South China Morning Post, “The Broadcasting Authority strongly advised the broadcaster to follow the family viewing policy after ruling on an appeal brought by a member of the public. It decided the documentary was ‘unfair, partial and biased towards homosexuality.’ ”

RTHK said they were upset by the ruling and “disputed the decision, saying the finding of an 'unfair, partial and biased' presentation left room for further deliberation,” according to the South China Morning Post. RTHK also said the ruling would influence future broadcasting decisions.

According to the Broadcasting Authority, 22 complaints were logged about the show. However, watchdog group Tela told the Morning Post those were “unsubstantiated.”

The authority agreed that those complaints were unsubstantiated in three areas: “that the show was misleading and unfair to Christians; that the major cause of HIV/Aids was homosexual sex; and that the broadcaster had not displayed a sensitive content warning before showing the episode,” the Morning Post reported. However, because the show had a positive opinion about making same-sex marriage legal, and about gay people in general, it ran amok of the Hong Kong television code that said it should be neutral on such issues.

In May of last year, RTHK made history by creating Hong Kong’s first gay talk show. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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