The top appeals court in Hong Kong issued a landmark ruling granting spousal benefits to a married gay couple, the latest rebuke to Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s government over the issue of equal rights for LGBT people.
In a unanimous ruling, the five justices ruled in favor of a local civil servant who argued that his husband, whom he had wed overseas in a country that recognizes same-sex marriage, was entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual spouses. Hong Kong doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
Leung Chun Kwong, who works in the city’s Immigration Department, brought the case after his 2014 marriage to Scott Adams in New Zealand. The Hong Kong government had rejected giving Adams medical and dental benefits, arguing that their marriage was invalid.
The Court of Final Appeal dismissed the government’s argument that the court should defer to the prevailing views of the local community, saying that reasoning was “inimical in principle to fundamental rights.’’