HSBC is showing their pride and support for the LGBT community this month, but in doing so, have caused controversy. At the main bank building in central, two rainbow coloured lions, designed by artist Micheal Lam, have been placed and will be there until December as part of the bank’s Celebrate Pride, Celebrate Unity campaign. Stephen and Stitt, the two lions that have been a symbol of the bank and whose statutes have been at the bank for many years, have always stood for courage and prosperity. These two replica lions that have been draped in rainbow colours, according to HSBC, now stand for pride and unity. The bank’s Hong Kong Facebook page has been inundated with messages of support because of the lions. But there is also the conservative side commenting as well. Comments like “ugly” and “disappointed” are interspersed in there as well, with many threatening to change to another bank.
The lions have been slammed by anti-gay groups in Hong Kong as well. Roger Wong, the father of the Umbrella Movement’s Joshua Wong, has started a petition against the rainbow lions saying that they are “trampling on family values” and “causing an annoyance”. He has also stated that the banks policy towards benefits to same-sex couples is unfair to shareholders. So far, the petition has garnered 1,800 signatures, and if it reaches 3,000, he will go to the main headquarters and protest.
HSBC has had a history with the LGBT community and supporting the rights of the community in Hong Kong and this display is truly appreciated by the LGBT people.