This week read about political attacks on "Ossan's Love" raising concerns about LGBT rights in China, and New Zealand introducing a bill to ban conversion therapy.
Political Attacks On Gay TV Show Raise Concerns About Rights
A TV drama about a male love triangle is becoming a great hit with viewers, but opposition from pro-Beijing lawmakers is raising concerns that broader liberties might be caught up in China's political crackdown.
According to the Wall Street Journal, over the last month, hundreds of thousands of people have watched “Ossan's Love,” a 15-episodic drama about a relationship between three guys who work in a real estate office. Rights activists commended the performance for assisting in the mainstreaming of homosexual partnerships in Hong Kong.
Junius Ho, a vocal pro-Beijing legislator, denounced the program as "marijuana covered in sugar," implying that it was damaging to society.
His comments stoked fears that politicians may exploit national security rhetoric — as well as a rule enacted last year to suppress political dissent in Hong Kong — to advance personal political agendas and threaten the city's wider social rights.
New Zealand Introduces Bill To Outlaw Conversion Therapy
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On July 30, New Zealand introduced legislation that would punish those who practice LGBT conversion therapy with up to five years in prison.
According to Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, the new regulations are aimed at stopping practices that do not work, are widely criticized, and do harm.
“Conversion practices have no place in modern New Zealand,” Faafoi told AsiaOne. “They are based on the false belief that any person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is broken and in need of fixing.”
Under the proposed legislation, anyone who performs conversion techniques on a person under the age of 18 or on someone with impaired decision-making abilities might face up to three years in jail, while conversion practices that cause serious harm would carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.