The head of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) said on Wednesday that legislation is the best way to protect the rights of sexual minorities, but said it should start with less controversial issues such as discrimination in the workplace.
Ricky Chu was answering questions on the recent controversy over the MTR Corporation and Airport Authority barring a Cathay Pacific advertisement showing two men holding hands. The bans were later lifted after LGBT activists protested.
Chu said the EOC is not going to follow up on the bans, because it hasn't officially received a complaint.
He said the reason for the bans is still not clear as some reports quoted the Airport Authority as saying it hadn't even seen the advert in question.
"So we cannot with evidence comment on whether this was inappropriate or not ... simply because we don't know the reason why the ad was banned," he said.
Asked if he personally found the ad disturbing, Chu said he didn't want to comment without knowing the reason for the move.
"All I can say is, the EOC's stance has always been that nobody should be treated unfairly because of sexual inclination and gender identity," Chu said.
He told RTHK's Timmy Sung that the commission had always called for legislation on this.
"However, in practice when we legislate we shouldn't go for issues that are really controversial at the moment. Because if we keep on thinking about the controversial issues, then the heated debate and polarisation of the society will stop us from effectively carrying on with our work," the commissioner said.