Hong Kong Shanghai Bank turned its famous lions into statements of sexual equality last month and some citizens were offended. Replicas of the lions, Stephen and Sitt, were painted in bold rainbow designs as part of the “Celebrate Pride, Celebrate Unity” campaign.
The lions, that represent courage and prosperity and regally lie outside the bank’s headquarters in Central, have drawn outrage from concern groups who view them as offensive. Parents for the Family Association, the Family School SODO Concern Group, Overturning LGBT Agenda, and Next Generation Orientation have launched an online petition to immediately remove the “ugly” rainbow-coloured lions. They also want HSBC to stop giving family benefits to homosexual staff, claiming it is unfair to shareholders who hold family values dear.
When the colourful lions were unveiled last month, HSBC group general manager and chief executive Diana Cesar said the campaign called for support of the local LGBT community and equal rights for all.
But the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group said HSBC had not considered the feelings of its more conservative clients. Roger Wong Wai-ming, convener of a group called the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group said that most people held traditional values dear.
“We think this very act is causing damage to the emotions of many Hong Kong people as well as trampling on their family values,” said Wong, who is also the father of student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung.
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