As part of the annual IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia) rally in HK, activists will meet this weekend at a ‘Love Thy Neighbour‘ event in Jordan. After the conservative ‘Christian March of Hate‘ earlier this year, this event incorporates HK’s religious community, the majority of whom have a better understanding of inclusiveness and the Golden Rule. It is at Kowloon Union Church (opp. Jordan MTR, Exit B) at 2:30pm (speeches will be in Cantonese).
Transsexual Granted the Right to Marry
This gathering comes as heroic activist lawyer Michael Vidler won the right for his anonymous transsexual client to marry. The judgement noted that the idea of marrying to have children had been “diminished” in today’s multi-cultural HK. It has made the news internationally and is hopefully a stepping stone in HK’s eventual recognition of gay marriage…
Vidler’s equally heroic client, known only as ‘W’, had been granted a government-subsidised sex-change operation yet has twice been denied the right to marry her boyfriend. The judgement, co-written by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-Li and Permanent Judge Robert Ribeiro, admitted that excluding a transsexual person from the institution of marriage would be unjust.
However, the order to allow her marriage was suspended for a year as its final adoption is “entirely” a matter for LEGCO to decide upon.
The government has already made its regressive stance clear, as chief bigot CY Leung refused to allow a consultation on the issue of gay marriage. 27% of citizens surveyed believed gays should “keep their views to themselves”. Thus, despite the legal judgement, there is a strong chance the government will pander to HK’s vocal, Christian minority.
Meanwhile, Permanent Judge Patrick Chan Siu-Oi opposed the final ruling, stating, meaninglessly, that transsexual marriage is “a radical change of the traditional concept of marriage”.
Chan is, perhaps thankfully, retiring to a non-permanent position this Autumn, to be replaced with Joseph Fok.
Below is a summary of the sorry state of affairs in Hong Kong, via Wikipedia. The city often plays ‘catch-up’ with the rest of the democratic world in that homosexuality was only legalised in the 90?s and the age of consent was only equalised for gay couples in 2006 (despite opposition from Donald Tsang). In 2008, a judge upheld a ruling against RTHK for broadcasting a programme about homosexuality which failed to give air-time to homophobic counter viewpoints. And until as recently as 2009 , co-habiting gay couples were not recognised in the Domestic Violence Ordinance.
Hong Kong’s LGBT community…
- Full Lowdown: Thousands of Bigoted Christian Homophobes Gather for Demo.
- Judges Approve Transsexual Marriage as LGBT Event Planned for Weekend.
- LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rally, 2012.
- Shots from HK’s Gay Pride Parade, 2012.