Recent rulings have sparked hopes that Hong Kong will soon legalize same-sex marriage

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12/26/2023

Hong Kong’s LGBTQ community is cautiously optimistic that the government will legalize same-sex marriage following landmark rulings in favor of granting gay and lesbian couples more rights. Hong Kong’s civil liberties have been in decline since China’s government imposed a national security law there. That law followed large-scale and sometimes violent anti-government protests in 2019. But the rights of LGBTQ people seem to have been left alone for the most part. And this year, Hong Kong’s courts made several key rulings in favor of granting gay and lesbian couples more rights. This is sparking hopes that the city will join a growing number of places in Asia with legalized same-sex marriage. Cindy Sui sent us this report from Hong Kong. Across the border in mainland China, holding LGBT+ events like this one would be impossible. This is Pink Dot Hong Kong, an annual carnival celebrating gay pride. More than 13,000 people came out to this year’s event, one of the biggest turnouts. Gay and lesbian couples are swaying to the music, and families with children are joining in on the fun, trying to keep a giant, inflated pink ball in the air. One of the singers proudly declares that she switches sexual orientation from day to day, saying that’s what makes life interesting. This kind of public speech would most likely be suppressed in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong, where people have become more accepting of homosexuality. Now, however, there are worries that Hong Kong’s government may follow in the footsteps of mainland China, where an LGBTQ center in Beijing and online platforms have been shut down.

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