Lead on recognising same-sex unions in Hong Kong must start with government not courts, lawyers and activists say

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09/26/2020

Lawyers and activists have urged the government to take the lead in drawing up a legal framework for the recognition of same-sex relationships in Hong Kong rather than leaving decisions to the courts, which struck down a major case seeking to recognise foreign gay marriages last week. They accused the administration of leaving the burden on people to mount legal challenges on the grounds of discrimination, which could be expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining for plaintiffs. The LGBT community was disappointed by the High Court’s ruling on September 18 when it rejected a bid by civic rights activist Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, who filed a lawsuit for Hong Kong to recognise foreign same-sex marriages. Sham argued that the government’s decision not to recognise marriages performed overseas, such as his, which was registered in New York, violated the right to equality guaranteed by Article 25 of the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.

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