頭條日報今日在社論稱,陳志全議員早前於港鐵內被兩位女士以粗言穢語謾罵其性取向一事是「自作自受」、「自食其果」。頭條日報社論不但未有為受害人仗義執言,反而為散播「語言仇恨」者護航,言論令人齒冷。

如陳議員未曾在立法會內「爆粗」,該社論卻意圖將其他議員的行為歸咎於陳議員,把陳議員定性為「『爆粗』議員」」以蒙混公眾視線,就有可能構成誹謗。

就算陳議員是一位「爆粗」議員,難道我們就可以因為這點,將針對其性取向的「語言仇恨」攻擊合理化嗎?市民當然可以對議員的政治立場或能力有保留,甚至不滿,但是當批評和攻擊的目標聚焦在和議員職責無關的個人特徵,例如性別、種族、性取向等,任何文明社會都絕不應容忍。

任何人,不論性別、種族、宗教、殘障、性取向等等,都應享有公平的待遇及尊重。如該事件是針對殘障人士或少數族裔做出,可能已經違反《殘疾歧視條例》第46條或《種族歧視條例》第45條關於中傷的條文。遺憾地,香港現時並未有針對性傾向及性別認同歧視的法律。

事件中,有市民看不過眼出言維護陳議員,其正義感正好與此社論形成強烈對比。頭條日報的社論,利用了其他毫無關係的事件及人物來混淆公眾視聽,這不但反映了其對性小眾缺乏同理心及應有的基本尊重,事實上亦對該事件真正的問題置若罔聞,令「社論」變「歪論」,言論令人極其遺憾。

法政匯思 2015年6月3日

Legislative Council (“Legco”) member, Mr. Raymond Chan Chi-chuen was verbally abused by two women on his sexual orientation in Hong Kong subway earlier this week. In its editorial today, Headline Daily commented that Mr. Chan deserved to be treated this way. This is utterly disappointing, as Headline Daily did not only fail to speak up for and/or defend the victim, they helped spread such hate speech.

In Headline Daily’s commentary, they quoted as an example that “some” Legco members use foul language. That way, they sought to attribute other Legislative Council members’ conduct to Mr. Chan. If in fact Mr. Chan has never used foul language at Legco meetings but yet be labelled by Headline Daily as a “foul language Legco member”, this could well constitute defamation.

Even if Mr. Chan is a Legco member who uses foul language, does it mean that we should tolerate the use of hate speech based on a person’s sexual orientation? Citizens can of course have reservations about the political stance or ability of a Legco member. They can be dissatisfied too but to criticise and attack a Legco member based on his features such as gender, race or sexual orientation is plainly unacceptable.

A person, regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, etc., should be treated equally and fairly. If the incident happened to a disabled person or a member of an ethnic minority, section 46 of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance or section 45 of the Race Discrimination Ordinance concerning vilification may already have been breached. Regrettably, there is currently no legislation in Hong Kong in relation to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

There was one citizen who was courageous enough to defend Mr. Chan in the subway. Her sense of justice poses a stark contrast to Headline Daily’s commentary. By referring to irrelevant events and people in its commentary, it does not only show that Headline Daily has no empathy and respect towards sexual minorities, but also that they are willing to turn a deaf ear to real issues and twist facts to suit theories. We are extremely disappointed by fallacies in this piece of so-called “editorial”.

Progressive Lawyers Group 3 June 2015

Article originally appeared in Stand News on 3 June 2015