Gay rights are a battle of ideas

Gay rights are a battle of ideas

On November 10, thousands of people took part in the Hong Kong Pride Parade 2012. They demanded greater rights for the city's gays and lesbians. A bill was also placed for a vote in the Legislative Council to extend those rights. It triggered a controversy in Hong Kong.

Conservative Christian groups regard homosexuality as a sin and opposed the bill, which was voted down. Some other groups, too, spoke out against it.

The issue has brought into focus what we regard as acceptable forms of behaviour. People have different views in society and they are entitled to them. However, it is unfair and unwise to discriminate against people on the grounds of sexual orientation.

We are all entitled to fundamental rights. Granting those rights to homosexuals will not erode morality in society, as some people argue.

However, when you take a closer look at the issue, as I did, you may find that some advocates of homosexuality can also be narrow-minded. They simply label their opponents as bigoted.

"Do I become evil if I propose opposing arguments?" my friend Lester asked pointedly.

We should accept that society is a battle ground of opposing ideas. That's why free and open discussion is a must. The French philosopher Voltaire allegedly declared: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Well said.

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