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Hong Kong court rejects bid to have overseas same-sex marriages recognised

Author: Danai Nesta Kupemba

Politician, activist and spokesperson Jimmy Sham’s appeal for same-sex marriage has been rejected. (Getty Images)

A legal bid by LGBTQ+ activist Jimmy Sham to have overseas same-sex marriages recognised in Hong Kong has been rejected in court.

Sham married his partner in New York in 2013 and has been fighting to have his marriage recognised in Hong Kong for almost five years.

On Wednesday (24 August) the region’s Court of Appeal stated Hong Kong only acknowledges heterosexual unions. The judgement read that marriage was defined “as a voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”.

Sham’s lawyer, Hectar Pun had argued the exclusion of same-sex marriage was a violation of people’s right to equality and cited Article 37 of the Basic Law that stipulates “the freedom of marriage of Hong Kong residents and their right to raise a family freely shall be protected by law”.

However the court dismissed this argument in their judgement.

“Whatever the position might be under the foreign law on marriage, it does not detract from the application of [Article 37 of the Basic Law] in Hong Kong,”

“The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognised. It strongly suggests that the freedom to marriage thereunder is granted to heterosexual couples only.”

Jimmy Sham has been pushing for his marriage to be recognised in Hong Kong since 2018. (Getty Images)

The judgment concluded: “Self-evidently, the drafters of the Basic Law must have only used the term ‘marriage’ in [Article] 37 in the traditional sense of being a union between a heterosexual couple. Any suggestion otherwise is divorced from reality.”

Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Danai Nesta Kupemba

My name is David but my online nick almost everywhere is Altabear. I'm a web developer, graphic artist and outspoken human rights (and by extension, mens rights) advocate. Married to my gorgeous husband for 10 years, together for 24 and living with our partner of 1.5 years, in beautiful Edmonton, Canada.

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