Victory for Hong Kong’s LGBT community as High Court abolishes four offences that criminalise sex between men

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05/30/2019

Hong Kong’s LGBT community has earned a long-awaited legal victory, with a court abolishing or revising seven offences that criminalised sex between men. The High Court on Thursday ruled that four criminal offences were unconstitutional and repealed them with immediate effect. The court also revised its interpretations of three offences, deciding in favour of Yeung Chu-wing, an LGBT activist who brought the lawsuit against the government in 2017. The seven offences under challenge – all part of the Crimes Ordinance – made homosexual men criminally liable for acts that are legal for heterosexuals and, in some cases, lesbians. Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung, in the language of the court, abolished the crimes of “procuring others to commit homosexual buggery” and “gross indecency with or by a man under 16”. He also overturned “gross indecency by a man with a man otherwise than in private” and “procuring gross indecency by a man with a man”.

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