Hong Kong government says marriage ‘no longer special’ if gay couples wed


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Photo: Hong Kong Pride Parade/Facebook

A Hong Kong government lawyer has told the country’s top court marriage would “no longer be special” if same-sex marriage is legalised.

Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex marriages earlier this month.

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More than 300 couples tied the knot in jubilant scenes in the country last Friday.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong woman is suing the government for denying her and her female partner a civil union. The woman, known as MK, says the ban is unconstituional.

But government lawyer Stewart Wong told the court marriage would be “diluted and diminished” and “no longer special” if same-sex unions were legalised, AFP reported.

“Not all differences in treatment are unlawful. You are not supposed to treat unequal cases alike,” Wong said.

Wong added Hong Kong’s definition of marriage was already defined by law and “cannot be trumped”.

When asked about same-sex civil unions, he said they “undermine” the traditional institution of marriage.

“To recognise an alternative form of same-sex relationships which we say is tantamount to a [marriage] is to undermine the traditional institution of marriage and the family constituted by such a marriage.”

Two other court cases in Hong Kong arguing for same-sex marriage

In two other court cases in Hong Kong, two gay men are separately arguing that the ban on same-sex marriage violates their right to equality under their city’s laws.

Homosexuality was only decriminalised in Hong Kong in 1991 and same-sex marriage is not legal in the country.

LGBTIQ campaigners say gay and transgender people face discrimination in Hong Kong and often face pressure from family to marry and have children.

Same-sex couples cannot apply for public housing or enjoy their partner’s pension benefits, according to Amnesty International.

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