Colorful ''pride'' statues outside HSBC's Hong Kong headquarters have sparked a big debate over LGBT rights. As Tara Joseph reports, surveys show nearly half of Hong Kongers feel unsure about LGBT people.
It's hard to believe these colourful creatures could cause such an uproar. But eye-catching replicas of Hong Kong's iconic HSBC lions are splitting opinion. They've been unveiled as a symbol of the bank's support for LGBT rights - standing just a stones throw from the original statues that guard the building's entrance. But the gesture hasn't gone down quite as well as executives hoped... in this largely conservative city. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TARA JOSEPH, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "The company has been very vocal about LGBT rights here. But even though HK is an international city many people here are divided over the issue and whether big companies should be actively talking about it." Many people seem to like the colourful lions, posting pictures with them on social media... But campaign groups with a focus on family values have started collecting signatures against them... and thousands of people are signing up. Surveys show that nearly half of Hong Kongers either don't accept or feel unsure about LGBT people... and some believe it's ok not to offer someone a job based on their sexuality. In the past couple of years, there has been greater support for the pro-gay movement... Especially after a local billionaire offered a massive sum of money to any man who would marry his openly lesbian daughter... But the conservative force is still strong. And for many, the HSBC lions will always stand for courage and prosperity... Not pride and diversity.