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Hong Kong trans rights groups respond to historic court ruling

Hong Kong trans rights groups respond to historic court ruling

Hong Kong’s trans rights and support groups have responded to yesterday’s historic court ruling that a transsexual woman known as ‘W’ can marry her boyfriend. The judgement paves the way for other transsexuals to marry.

Kasper Wan from Hong Kong’s Transgender Resource Centre said he believes the decision will encourage ‘other transgender to be more confident and to have greater self-esteem towards themselves’.

‘They [transgender people] will feel more like part of the society. And this will be good for social harmony,’ said Wan.
‘I hope that other transgender people will feel more comfortable about their identity and come out to society more. And as society understands more about transgender people, family and friends will have greater acceptance.’

Hong Kong’s umbrella LGBT rights group Pink Alliance welcomed the Court of Final Appeal’s ruling and urged the government to act quickly in implementing the judges’ recommendations for clarifying marriage law.

‘The right to form a family is a basic fundamental right. It’s unfair, inhumane and unreasonable for the government to pay for a person’s sex reassignment surgeries, reissue all relevant identity and other documents in recognizing their new sex but refuse them the right to marry,’ said Billy Leung, the organization’s Outreach Officer.

Hong Kong University’s Dr Sam Winter who specializes in research, education and advocacy for Asian trans people, said the judgement was a ‘big step forward’.

But Winter warned that there were challenges ahead for transgender women who don’t want surgery and transmen, who were not explicitly mentioned in the judgment and may not be permitted to marry with the new legislation.