Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal issued a monumental ruling striking down the government’s ban on providing public housing to married same-sex couples.
Government’s Discriminatory Housing Policy Struck Down
The court rejected the government’s challenge to two previous High Court decisions that found excluding overseas same-sex marriages from public housing to be unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The Appeals Court upheld that the policy amounted to “severe indirect discrimination.” Same-sex couples could never meet the housing authority’s discriminatory criteria.
Activists Hail Judgment as Confirming Equal Treatment
Plaintiff Henry Li celebrated the landmark ruling on Facebook. Local LGBTQ activists applauded the decision for confirming unequal treatment based on sexual orientation has no place in Hong Kong’s public policy.
Comes After Series of Court Victories for Gay Rights
This progressive judgment follows other court wins for gay rights in Hong Kong this year.
In September, the city’s top court ruled against legalizing same-sex marriage but required the government to establish an alternative legal framework within two years.
Earlier this year, a judge also granted joint parental rights to a lesbian couple over their IVF child.
Could Influence Reforms Across Asia
LGBTQ advocates across Asia are closely watching Hong Kong’s courts. They hope the advancement of gay rights in Hong Kong will positively impact reform movements in other Asian countries.
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