Macau LGBT Rights Concern Group asks members of the Legislative Assembly to give their support to the passage of the Same-sex Civil Union bill

The Macau LGBT Rights Concern Group has asked members of the Legislative Assembly to give their support to the passage of the Same-sex Civil Union bill. At the same, we petitioned the President of the Legislative to refine the conditions of the bill to better safeguard the LGBT rights in Macau.

 

25 March 2013

President of the Legislative Assembly

Dear President Lau,

In regard to the “Civil Union between Persons of the Same-sex” bill (draft law) published at the website of the Legislative Assembly, in pursuant to Law No. 5/94/M, I petition the President of the Legislative to refine the conditions of the bill in order to better safeguard the rights of the citizens concerned. I request the President of the Legislative Assembly to accept my petition in accordance with laws.

In the pretext that the “Civil Union between Persons of the Same-sex” bill shall be discussed at the plenary session of the Assembly on 27 March 2013, I, on behalf of the Macau LGBT Rights Concern Group, express my support for all legislative efforts that improve LGBT rights in Macau. Also, I would like to ask all legislative deputies to help promote the inclusion of the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities in Macau’s society.

The requests in my petition as follows:

1. Recognition of registrations overseas

It has not been explicit in the bill about the recognition of the variety of forms of same-sex partnerships that exist in jurisdictions overseas. They are, in particular, same-sex marriage, which is legal in Portugal, Spain and Canada, and, same-sex civil union, which is legal in some states of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany.

I request that the bill should explicitly recognise all same-sex partnerships registered overseas regardless of their forms in different jurisdictions.

2. Transgender

Based on the Article 26 on equality of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” ratified in Macau, in conjunction with the Human Rights Council resolution 17/19 (A/HRC/RES/17/19) adopted in June 2011 – the first United Nations resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity – expressing “grave concern” at violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity which paved the way for the first official United Nations report on the issue prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/19/41), “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity” is now on the list of “Human Rights Issues” of the UNOHCHR. The sexual and gender minorities in the aforementioned report refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, commonly abbreviated as “LGBT”. The bill has addressed the concern for equality for establishment of partnerships on the ground of sexual orientation, however, transgender individuals (equality on the ground of gender identity) have not been taken into consideration.

I request that the bill should explicitly handle the cases which transgender individuals wish to register civil unions in his or her desired gender identity other than his or her native gender identity.

3. Review

The article 10 of the bill requires the then-law to be reviewed within 2 years. The requirement of review conveys the legislators’ lack of confidence over the bill. I suggest that rather than the entire law, mere the provision of the Paragraph 2 of the Article 3 on the deprivation of the right to adoption shall be subject to review.

I request that rather than the entire “Civil Union between Persons of the Same-sex” law,
the scope of review should be constrained to the Paragraph 2 of the Article 3 on adoption.

4. Delayed entry into force

The provision of the article 11 of the bill, which shall delay the law’s entry into force for 180 days, goes against the principle of proportion.

I request that the “Civil Union between Persons of the Same-sex” law shall come into force once it is published.

Macau LGBT Rights Concern Group

CC: All legislative Deputies of the Legislative Assembly

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