This consultation comes after the government wants to revise the laws concerning anti-discrimination. Four in number, they protect yet against discrimination based on sex, family status, race and disability.
It will also discuss the recognition of unions performed in other countries but it is not yet certain that the same-sex unions will be included.
Nevertheless, the commission's chief legal counsel, Herman Poon Lik-hang, told The South Cina Morning Post: "The starting point is to protect heterosexual de facto couples from discrimination. This could lead to entitlement to employment and health benefits" that could be extended to homosexual couples, he said. "We are open to opinions and ideas; we don't have a preconceived idea."
According to the Post, the chairperson Dr York Chow Yat-ngok of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) would submit its report with recommendations to the government around the middle of next year.