LGBTI advocates in Hong Kong are disappointed the Immigration Department plans to contest a landmark court ruling.
In September a British woman known as QT won a historic case in the High Court to be granted a spousal visa.
QT had fought for years for the right to be granted a spousal visa after her wife, SS, moved to Hong Kong for work. Her requests were constantly rejected because the Immigration Department did not recognise same-sex relationships.
The court ruled even though marriage equality was not legal in Hong Kong, it was in Britain where the women had a civil partnership and therefore, should be recognized.
‘An unmarried couple, whether heterosexual or homosexual, in a stable, long term and committed relationship can have exactly the same sort of interdependent relationship as a married couple,’ the Justices wrote in their ruling.
But Hong Kong’s Immigration Department has other ideas, according to a report in the Hong Kong Free Press.
On Wednesday the department confirmed it had filed the application to have the judgement studied. It was also seeking legal advice about the issue.
‘Having studied the Court of Appeal’s judgment and sought legal advice, the immigration department has filed an application for leave to appeal against the judgment,’ the department told the AFP today.
Hong Kong’s first openly gay legislator Ray Chan was not impressed with the department’s appeal.
‘The government would rather spend taxpayers’ money to appeal a case which in my view does not contribute to society or benefit anybody if won, than to support a major international sports, culture, and tourism event such as the Gay Games,’ he told AFP.