Key Court Cases

W v W

A parent’s sexual orientation is not an automatically disqualifying factor in cases involving child custody.

Leung TC William Roy v Secretary for Justice

Articles 1 and 22 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance are interpreted to include sexual orientation.

The age of consent for both gay and straight is equalized at 16 years old.

Secretary for Justice v Yau Yuk Lung Zigo and Another

The right to equality doesn’t mean all differences in treatment would be discriminatory but differential treatment can only be justified if it meets three legal tests.

Differential treatment based on grounds like race, sex and sexual orientation would attract intense scrutiny.

Cho Man Kit v Broadcasting Authority

Discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation is unconstitutional.

W v Registrar of Marriages

Post-operative transgender people have the right to marry under their affirmed gender identity.

Luigi Recasa Navarro v Commissioner of Correctional Services

Pre-operative transgender inmates cannot serve their time in a prison that aligns with their affirmed gender identity.

Transgender inmates should have access to hormonal treatment while in custody.

QT v Director of Immigration

Same-sex couples are eligible for spousal visa.

Q , R and Henry Edward Tse v Commissioner of Registration

The court sides with the government and says that transgender people have to undergo a complete sex change in order for the new gender to be recognized on their ID cards.

*The case is being appealed.

Yeung Chu Wing v Secretary for Justice

The court strikes down the remaining discriminatory criminal offences on Hong Kong’s statute books that relate only to gay men.

Leung Chun Kwong v the Secretary for the Civil Service and others

Same-sex couples legally married are eligible for joint income tax assessment.

Spouses of gay civil servants are entitled to receive spousal benefits.

MK v Government of HKSAR

The court rules against same-sex civil partnership and same-sex marriage.

*The case is being appealed.

Nick Infinger v Hong Kong Housing Authority

The court rules that the government policy of denying legally married same-sex couples the right to apply for public housing is unlawful and unconstitutional.

Atoo Zubeda v The Department of Immigration and Torture Claims Appeal Board

A Uganda national raises a non-refoulment claim of protection on the basis that if she returns to Uganda, she will face harmed or killed for being a lesbian. Her application is denied.

The Director of Immigration and the Torture Claims Appeal Board have to follow a new guidance in their facts-finding determination of whether gays or lesbians have well-founded fear of persecution in their home countries.

*Leave to apply for judicial review granted.

Ng Hon Lam v Hong Kong Housing Authority

A legal challenge launched in 2019 against the rule stopping same-sex married partners from living together because they are not deemed family.