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Monday, May 20, 2019, 17:24
Outside the box
By Peter Liang
Monday, May 20, 2019, 17:24 By Peter Liang

Government’s efforts to promote Hong Kong as a city of diversity to entice overseas talents in finance and technology has been seriously undermined by the reported rejection by the airport and MTR of a Cathay Pacific ad that features two men holding hands while strolling on the beach.

Rejecting any ad with LGBT content that is perfectly normal is an overt act of condoning intolerance which should have no place in Hong Kong’s open society 

The ad is part of the flag carrier’s rebranding campaign to emphasis, among other things, diversity.

A SCMP report says that the two major transport companies have refused permission for the ad with obvious LGBT content. Confronted by the newspaper, a spokesperson of the MTR recited the railway monopoly’s standing policy on advertising which says nothing about anything.

The exclusive advertising agency for the MTR told the Post that that there are two relevant clauses in the contract with the rail operator, one of which states that adverts would be rejected if they are deemed to “offend the generally accepted standards of public decency or the social or cultural standards of the society.”

The question is since when has same-sex relationship, which is legal in Hong Kong, become an offence to the sensibility of the public. If it were true, it would have been something of which the people of this international city with unrestricted exposures to cultural and intellectual diversities should feel ashamed.

To be sure, Cathay Pacific and any other businesses must respect the culture and norm of the society in which they operate. But intolerance and bigotry should never be allowed to become part of Hong Kong’s culture or norm.

Rejecting any ad with LGBT content that is perfectly normal is an overt act of condoning intolerance which should have no place in Hong Kong’s open society that underpins the free market economy.

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