EOC Responds to Court of Final Appeal Ruling on the “W” Case on Transgender Marriage
In response to the judgment of the Court of Final Appeal for the plaintiff known as “W” for the right to marry in her identified gender, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) today (13 May 2013) issues the following statements:
- The EOC welcomes the judgment of the Court. We believe transgender individuals should have the same right as others to live a life of dignity and respect, with full access to participation in every aspect of life. This includes the right to marry the person they love.
- Many transgender individuals continue to face enormous social pressure and struggle to live free from harassment because of their gender identity. This case demonstrates the need for more public understanding and dialogue in order to remove stigma and misunderstanding about diverse gender identities and to facilitate the end of discrimination and prejudice against transgender persons.
- The transgender community still struggles for equal protection before the law. A specific legislation against discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation would provide transgender persons some recourse under the law against injustice due to their gender identity.
- The EOC calls on the Government to concretely and promptly take action to address the legal amendment recommended by the Court of Final Appeal, and enable transgender individuals to access the full range of their legal rights in their adopted gender, including the right to marry. This includes reviewing and amending the relevant clauses of the Marriage Ordinance. Doing so would bring Hong Kong in line with a number of overseas jurisdictions, where a transgender individual could legally marry in their identified gender. The Government should show initiative to proactively address the issue and to raise awareness.
- The EOC encourages everyone in Hong Kong to work together to recognize and understand the issues of gender identity, and build an inclusive city where all people enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
For media enquiry, please contact Ms. Mariana LAW at 2106-2226.
Equal Opportunities Commission
13 May 2013