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Hitting Hong Kong where it hurts, right in the business maker

'The application itself is a historic event in the advancement of LGBTI rights in Hong Kong'

Hitting Hong Kong where it hurts, right in the business maker
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Stephen, one of the rainbow lions outside HSBC in Hong Kong

A lesbian’s attempts to get a partnership visa in Hong Kong have been set back again.

The British woman – known as QT – who followed her partner to Hong Kong when she got a job there, has only been granted a tourist visa.

Last year the High Court rejected QT’s judicial review application into the Immigration Department’s decision not to grant her a dependant visa.

She then took the matter to Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal where she had the support of 12 major financial institutions who filed submissions of support to be heard in as interveners in the case.

The submissions would have argued the importance of embracing diversity to help Hong Kong a competitive player in the global market. But the court ruled it did not need the bank’s submissions.

Some of the banking institutions included; ABN AMRO Bank, AIG Insurance Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the Bank of New York Mellon, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs Services, Morgan Stanley Asia, the Royal Bank of Canada and Societe Generale.

‘The court can easily see the more rounded picture from the employers’ perspective without [the financial institutions’] input,’ Chief Judge Andrew Cheung said in his judgement.

‘The proposed interveners will most likely be repeating the points QT may wish to make anyway,’ he added.

Making history regardless of outcome

QT’s lawyer, Michael Vidler, said she was disappointed the court had not allowed the bank’s submissions.

‘The application itself is a historic event in the advancement of LGBTI rights in Hong Kong,’ Vidler told HKFP.

‘Never before have so many major employers in an industry which is the cornerstone to Hong Kong’s economic success, so unequivocally and publicly shown their support for LGBTI rights in Hong Kong.

‘They have made it crystal clear to the Hong Kong government that the current policy… is having a detrimental effect on their ability to attract the best talent from the increasingly competitive international employment pool.’


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