Marriage is universally understood as an expression of love, a foundation of stable relationships, and a basic unit of family and domestic life. There’s no greater milestone in a couple’s life than marriage – the moment that two people make a public commitment to build a shared life together. At its core, marriage is about a life of companionship – about taking accountability for your spouse and the joining together of your two families.
However, in Hong Kong, same-sex couples are denied the freedom to marry the person they love. They cannot share the joy of marriage with their families, friends and neighbours. Can you imagine what it would be feel like if someone said you could not marry the person you’ve decided to share your life with?
Rather than redefine marriage, same-sex couples want to participate in the tradition. They want to build a life together and solidify the institution of marriage. Also, social harmony requires us to include our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family members, friends, neighbours and coworkers in this venerable institution even though we might not completely understand their experience. By embracing same-sex couples and celebrating their matrimonies, we make our society stronger, more harmonious and happier.
Marriage matters because respect and harmony are shared values of all Hongkongers. The Basic Law promises all Hong Kong residents “shall be equal before the law,” and allowing same-sex couples to marry is a fulfilment of that solemn promise.
Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Hong Kong is the only way to ensure that our gay and lesbian neighbours are afforded respect – and the tools they need to care for their spouse. What is universally understood with two words – “we’re married” – is not understood when a separate status is created that frontline emergency personnel, employers and even local elected officials do not understand.
Hong Kong Marriage Equality is a community-focused organization, and we are dedicated to winning hearts and minds and making marriage equality a reality. Love transcends sexual orientation and gender identity, and marriage matters to everyone, gay or straight. When love wins, we all win.