Spokesperson of Rainbow of Macau Jason Chao attended the meeting between and the Anti-Domestic Violence Coalition and the First Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly on 04 March 2015. Rainbow of Macau regrets that the Committee shows no interest in advancing LGBT equality in the domestic violence. Chao was told by Committee Chair Kwan after the meeting that the government insisted on its stance and it was “important” as long as our “opinion had been expressed”. We have no other options but to resort to writing to the United Nations.
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
Dear Ms. Julie Broussard,
We, Rainbow of Macau, are writing to request for your attention to the latest development of the domestic violence legislation in Macau, China.
The draft Law of the Prevention and Correction of Domestic Violence has reached the phase of article-by-article deliberation by the First Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly of the Macau SAR, China.
In the very first version of the draft law released by the government in 2011, “same-sex cohabitants” were included in the scope of protection. However, the reference to same-sex relations was dropped in late 2012 by the government.
Despite our efforts to raise public awareness and petition for the restoration of same-sex relations in the bill, the government insisted on the removal in the name of “maintaining a consistency with other laws.”
The latest version of proposed law considered “persons in relations analogues to spouses” as “family members” thus fall within the scope of the its protection. To simply put, the bill is proposed to protect hetrosexual intimate partners but not those of the same-sex, as the government interprets that “spouse” is a reference to that of marriage between opposite sex.
When the bill becomes law, LGBT people will be excluded from the same level of protection as their hetrosexual counterparts, constituting a de facto discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.
We think, as you may agree, that law against domestic violence should be a piece of legislation safeguarding human rights rather than laying out a definition of “family members.”
We would like to request for your help in raising this issue at the level of international institutions.
Spokesperson, LGBT Rights Concern Group, Rainbow of Macau
Director-general, Rainbow of Macau