The Hong Kong Court of Appeal will hear the case of local civil servant Angus Leung Chun-kwong the week of December 11. Last April, the Court of First Instance ruled that Angus Leung and his same-sex husband, whom he had married in New Zealand, were entitled to the same medical and dental benefits that the government provides to his colleagues in opposite-sex marriages, and that to deny them was discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. However, in May the Hong Kong government appealed against the ruling.
The first-instance judgment was seen as a first for Hong Kong, and now the appeal is another test case for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the city. LGBTI advocates show their solidarity with Angus Leung at the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association Asia regional conference, which took place in early December in Cambodia.
- South Korea
Minhee Ryu, board member of ILGA Asia, lawyer at Korea Lawyers for Public Interest in Human Rights
“The case has got a lot of publicity in Asia and also in South Korea. We were really happy to get a good news[i] from Hong Kong, and it should remain that way at the Court of Appeal. I hope that the court will make the right decision to support equality in Hong Kong.”
Leow Yangfa, Executive Director at LGBTQ counselling service, Oogachaga
“ Anything, any progress that Hong Kong makes, should send a signal to the rest of Asia, because outside of Hong Kong and Taiwan, there are many countries in Asia where there isn’t such equality for the LGBTQ+ community, so we do look to Hong Kong to set a precedence to tell us that equality is possible in Asia.”
Chi-wei Cheng, Director of Social Work at Taiwan LGBT Tongzhi Hotline Association
“LGBTI rights in our societies demonstrate how the governments see human rights in the daily lives of their citizens – in partnerships, in unions, and in parental rights. I hope that the Hong Kong government can see the LGBTI community and their rights. We hope that all citizens in Hong Kong and those who care about human rights can stand up for this case.”
- Iran/ France
Soudeh Rad, board member of ILGA Europe, President of Spectrum
“My name is Sudeh Rad, I am an Iranian based in France. I am the President of Spectrum, which is a French NGO. We are working for Persian speakers, Iranian and African people inside France and also outside. We are a Queer feminist organization.”
“Everyone is born free, totally free. It’s only the societies and governments and legal frames that put us into boxes, and to authorize us to love someone, or not to love; be someone, or not to be. Governments and legal systems are there to make our lives easier, to make us respected by everyone and everyone has this right.”