It has come to the attention of Pink Alliance that The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong has scheduled a breakfast event featuring Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao on April 10, at its first-floor venue.
A few weeks ago, in the very same room, a photographic exhibition entitled “Queers of Hong Kong” took place to highlight the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people as minorities who have been discriminated against for their sexual orientations and gender identities.
The irony is not lost on us that, in February this year, Mr. Pacquiao said in a video posted on TV5 in the Philippines people in same-sex relationships were “worse than animals” because animals “know how to distinguish male from female”.
With that statement, Mr. Pacquiao has not only shown himself to be an unkind and prejudicial person, but also one who has a total lack of understanding of the subject of sexuality, both in the animal kingdom and of humans.
Although he subsequently made a half-hearted apology for his hurtful remarks after a public outcry and having his contract with Nike terminated, he, at the same time, reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
Members of the LGBTI community, like Mr. Pacquiao, are people who have aspirations, desires, emotions and longings for love. They deserve, just as Mr Pacquiao himself does, the right to choose who they love and to form a family. Hateful statements like the one made by Mr. Pacquiao deepen social prejudice against sexual minorities, and contribute to high rates of depression and suicide among LGBTI people, especially in countries where the law persecutes them.
The FCC takes pride in its diverse membership, and has a notable record in defending freedoms and human rights for all. As such, to continue screening the match would be a slap in the face on the club’s long traditions.
We hope you will take necessary steps to address the situation in a manner reflects those who advocates hate speech have no place in probably the most famous press club in the world.
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Reggie Ho +852 9867 8283