A civil servant for the Hong Kong government is suing his employer for refusing to recognize his marriage to another man.
Angus Leung Chun-kwong, who has worked at the immigration department since 2002, married his partner of 10 years in New Zealand last year.
However, Hong Kong’s civil service bureau and inland revenue department have repeatedly refused to recognize his marriage and extend medical benefits to his husband.
Both departments said the city’s Marriage Ordinance defines a marriage as ‘the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman,’ and therefore Leung’s union ‘falls outside the meaning of marriage.’
Neither gay marriage or civil unions are recognized in Hong Kong.
Leung has accused the CSB and IRD of violating the Basic Law, Hong Kong Bill of Rights, Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the government’s own anti-discrimination policies.
‘At its heart, this matter concerns protection for the dignity of a historically oppressed class in our society – homosexual persons, a substantial portion of our society. Allowing discriminatory treatment against such a minority undermines the law,’ he wrote in a 100-page court document.
This is not first time the Hong Kong government has faced such a challenge.
In May, a British woman sought a judicial review against the immigration department for denying her a dependent visa to live in the city with her wife.
A judgment is still pending in that case.