Hong Kong could risk losing some of its “brightest people” according to Dr Suen Yiu-tung, assistant professor of the Gender Studies Programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He has written in the South China Morning Post that a considerable amount of Hong Kong’s LGB community have thought about emigrating because of a lack of legal protections.
Dr Suen conducted a survey in 2016 with 1026 LGB people who live in Hong Kong and found that 39% had considered moving away because of Hong Kong’s lack of anti-discrimination laws.
48% of survey participants said that they had considered leaving because same-sex marriage was not legal in Hong Kong and 26% had thought about moving internationally because of the difficulties gay couples face when trying to adopt children.
“If these LGB people do indeed emigrate from Hong Kong, there will be negative consequences for the city,” writes Dr Suen. “It means that Hong Kong may be driving a significant proportion of the young and well-educated LGB workforce away because of the government’s failure to provide legal protection and recognition for them.
“The way Hong Kong tackles issue of rights for same-sex couples will test its claim to be Asia’s World City.”
Dr Suen has called for comprehensive legislation that would protect the LGBT+ community and encourage them to stay in Hong Kong.
Dr Suen has previously published a study that looked at attitudes towards LGBT+ friendly businesses in Hong Kong.