Left Menu
Development News Edition

Two gay men challenge Hong Kong ban on same-sex marriage


Two gay men challenge Hong Kong ban on same-sex marriage
(Image Credit: Twitter)

By Beh Lih Yi

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Two gay men have launched separate legal bids to overturn Hong Kong's ban on same-sex marriage, the first time the law has been challenged in court.

The two men, an activist and a student, argue that the ban on same-sex marriage violates their right to equality under the Basic Law, the city's mini-constitution.

They are asking the government to review and amend the law on marriage, currently defined as between a man and a woman, to the union of two persons, according to their lawyer Hectar Pun.

The Hong Kong High Court gave permission for the cases to proceed during a preliminary hearing on Thursday. The court will hear a separate case regarding civil union first.

Hong Kong has seen a number of lawsuits in recent years over the rights of gay couples, but this is the first legal challenge seeking to legalise same-sex union.

Rights group Amnesty International said Hong Kong's refusal to recognise same-sex relationships led to stigma and fuelled "discrimination and other human rights abuses".

"It is regrettable that further judicial cases need to be brought to force the government to end the discrimination same-sex couples face in all walks of life," its researcher Doriane Lau told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Hong Kong.

Same-sex couples cannot apply for public housing or enjoy their partner's pension benefits, Lau said.

Homosexuality has been decriminalised since 1991 in Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The city has an annual pride parade and lively gay scene.

However, it does not recognise same-sex marriage. Campaigners say gay and transgender people face widespread discrimination and often come under family pressure to marry and have children.

The Hong Kong government said in September it would recognise overseas same-sex partnerships when granting dependent visas, after a British lesbian who was denied a spousal visa took it to court and won.

International banks and law firms operating in the Asian financial hub have been keen to see visa rules for people in same-sex relationships eased to help attract global talent.

Thailand could become the first Asian country to legally recognize same-sex couples under a bill that would allow civil partnerships.

Vietnam allows same-sex weddings, but no legal recognition or protection of such unions.

(Reporting by Beh Lih Yi @behlihyi; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Conspiracy theories on COVID 19: Legislators, Scientists, and Journalists all joined the Caravan

Conspiracy theories are not new for virus epidemics. There have been conspiracy theories on HIV-AIDS, Polio Vaccines, Ebola Virus, and several other diseases as well. However, what makes the 2019 Novel Coronavirus different from others is ...

Top 10 Fake News, Myths and Realities on 2019 Novel Coronavirus COVID 19

With nearly 1500 deaths by January 14 and around 65,000 infections in China, the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has become one of the worst health epidemics of the 21st Century. However, 8,573 people have been cured but the rumor mongers are a...

Handling fake news Infodemic in time of Coronavirus epidemic

Social media has provided a platform where everybody can disseminate his her views without any supervision. Its excellent if the message is genuine but misinformation is equally disastrous. Health is such a topic where every Tom and Harry c...

Sentiment Analysis on Budget 2020: Long shot for solution to economic worries?

Industries and individuals alike had high expectations from the government to take tangible steps but the budget 2020 seems to have failed expectations....

Videos

Latest News

Two leather clusters opened in city

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced the opening of two leatherclusters for shoe and small leather accessory makers in the city.Banerjee announced the formal opening of these two clusters named Charmatirtho at a fu...

E-W Metro tunnelling work likely to be completed in 10 months

Underground tunnelling work for the East West Metro corridor is likely to take 10 more monthsto be completed, as a key machine has been damaged beyond repair, an international expert committee appointed by theKolkata Metro Rail Corporation ...

No plan to hand over monuments to private firms for upkeep:

Union Minister Prahlad Patel on Friday said there was no plan to hand over archaeologicalmonuments to private firms for upkeep. The Union minister for tourism independent chargetold reporters here that under his ministrys Adopt a Heritage A...

FOREX-Yen repairs some damage as dollar power-charge relents

The yen regained its footing on Friday, as traders swooped back into the Japanese currency after its worst four-day run in more than two years. The yen had lost 2 against the dollar in the previous two days alone as worries about the impact...

Give Feedback