Hong Kong Authorities Refusing To Count Gay Couples In 2016 Census

November 19, 2015

NewsStandOnline.Net (19-November-2015): Officials in Hong Kong have decided to leave same-sex couples off next year’s census , arguing that some will be too afraid to disclose their relationship in front of family members and that no data is better than inaccurate data on the make up of Hong Kong’s population.

Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department (CSD) recorded that there were 7,495 people living in a same-sex household that were not blood relatives in 2011.

However in the 2016 census people will still only be able to record their relationship status as ‘never been married, [heterosexually] married, widowed, divorced or separated.’ CSD deputy commissioner Stephen Leung said the decision not to record same-sex relations was made in consultation with government departments and social welfare organizations.

Hong Kong Authorities Refusing To Count Gay Couples In 2016 Census

Leung said census data had to be accurate if it was going to be useful in formulating government policy and the CSD believes most gay and lesbian couples would not disclose their relationship in front of relatives.

However LGBT group Rainbow of Hong Kong said the decision to not allow same-sex couples to record their relationships was a form of censorship which cuts that section of the community out of being able to take part in policy formation by the government.

Rainbow of Hong Kong spokesperson Yeung Chu-wing told Ejinsight that he personally knew of people who had tried to record their same-sex relationships during the last Hong Kong census in 2011 but were told they had submitted wrong information.

Chu-wing said that it was excluding same-sex couples from the census that will undermine its accuracy not asking them that question. Hong Kong has been a self-governing special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China since it was handed back to China by the United Kingdom in 1997.