Washington International Law Journal


Hong Kong’s long standing commitment to media and press freedom came under question when the Broadcasting Authority issued a ruling against a television show about same-sex couples. In deciding Cho Man Kit v. Broadcasting Authority, the Court of First Instance affirmed that sexual orientation must be afforded freedom of expression in public broadcasting. However, the Court found that the Broadcasting Authority had lawfully ruled that the show be excluded from family viewing hours. Though the opinion was in many ways a legal victory for homosexuals in Hong Kong, this Comment argues that the family viewing hours ruling undermines the cornerstone principle of equality in Hong Kong society. In its analysis, the Court misconstrued the “sex and nudity” provision of the Broadcasting Authority Code of Practice in a discriminatory manner such that homosexuality was hypersexualized. In addition, the Court used a legally insufficient proportionality test to analyze the family viewing hours provision in defiance of both legal precedent and Hong Kong public policy. For this reason, the second half of the Court’s opinion is infused with the very discrimination the Court sought to prevent.

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