Key Court Cases
A parent’s sexual orientation is not an automatically disqualifying factor in cases involving child custody.
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.
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.
Same-sex couples are eligible for spousal visa.
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.
The court strikes down the remaining discriminatory criminal offences on Hong Kong’s statute books that relate only to gay men.
Same-sex couples legally married are eligible for joint income tax assessment.
Spouses of gay civil servants are entitled to receive spousal benefits.
The court rules against same-sex civil partnership and same-sex marriage.
*The case is being appealed.
The Court of First Instance rules that the Housing Authority’s differential treatment under the Spousal Policy in the case is discriminatory.
Married same-sex couples are eligible to apply for public rental housing as ordinary families.
The appeal will be heard on 29 July 2021.
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.
This case challenges a rule that prevents same-sex married partners from living together because they are not deemed family. The case was heard on 19 April 2021, and the judge has reserved judgement.
The Court of First Instance rules that the exclusion of spouses to same-sex marriages from legal entitlements and benefits under intestacy and inheritance laws is discriminatory.
The government has decided to file an appeal.
The court rules against the applicant and states that Mr. Sham’s attempt to achieve complete recognition of foreign same-sex marriages is “too ambitious.”
The case concerns the guardianship of two children under the joint care of a same-sex couple who has split. The court rules that the non-biological mother in the case should be granted guardianship rights. In other words, same-sex couples in Hong Kong can now enjoy joint custody of their children, even if they are unmarried.