A legal debate surrounds same-sex marriage in Hong Kong.
Following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Taiwan, the legal case on the issue in Hong Kong has heated up. A woman, identified only as MK, is currently arguing that the ban is “unconstitutional.”
She also argues that the current ban doesn’t reflect the growing support for same-sex marriage in the city. Support for legalising same-sex marriage in Hong Kong jumped 12% over a four-year-period, as well as overall support for the community.
Following Taiwan’s ruling, MK’s lawyer Gladys Li said that it is “now or never” for the region to legalise same-sex marriage.
However, arguing in favour of the ban was solicitor Stewart Wong, who claimed that to allow same-sex marriage would “dilute” or “diminish” the institution of marriage.
“Not all differences in treatment are unlawful. You are not supposed to treat unequal cases alike,” he said. “To recognise an alternative form of same-sex relationships which we say is tantamount to a (marriage) is to undermine the traditional institution of marriage and the family constituted by such a marriage.”
Bar accepting spousal visas, Hong Kong doesn’t recognise any current partnership between same-sex couples. And even the head of Hong’s Kong Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) won’t push for it.
Speaking on the radio, he said: “If you ask the EOC to do something people have already said could never pass [the legislature], then why would we do it? My logic is based on realistic outcomes.”
The legal case surrounding same-sex marriage in Hong Kong will however only be decided on a legal basis, not a religious one.
The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong attempted to enter the legal debate, arguing they would provide a “rounded picture” of Christian-defined marriage, but Judge Chow Ka-ming ruled against it.
In the ruling, Judge Chow Ka-ming said: “It needs to be emphasised the court cannot arbitrate on social, moral, religious, or theological issues, and does not decide cases based on such a consideration.
“The court’s only proper rules… is to determine the application based strictly on legal considerations.”