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EOC Statement on the Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2014

23/10/2014

In response to the Legislative Council voting against the resumption of the second reading of the Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2014 today (22 October 2014), the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has issued the following statement:

“The EOC agrees that the Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2014 should not be passed. The Bill, if enacted, would require a transsexual person to undergo full sex reassignment surgery (SRS), resulting in sterilisation in order to be able to marry in his or her affirmed gender. This would force the transgender community in Hong Kong to face even greater hardships in making their choices to fulfil their affirmed gender identity.”

“As reiterated by the EOC on several occasions, the Bill not only fails to implement the Court of Final Appeal’s recommendation in the W case judgement for the SAR Government to establish a comprehensive gender recognition process, but it may also breach Hong Kong’s and international human rights standards, specifically those of the United Nations which regards the requirement for full SRS and the resultant sterilisation as inhuman and degrading.”

“Furthermore, the legislation fails to address the situation where a person has been certified in his/her affirmed gender in another jurisdiction but without having gone through full SRS, and whether he/she is entitled to the right of marriage and other rights such as identity documents in his/ her affirmed gender.”

“In view of the current situation, the EOC urges the Government and the Inter-departmental Working Group on Gender Recognition chaired by the Secretary for Justice to address the full recommendations of the Court of Final Appeal as soon as possible, and to recommend a gender recognition bill that affords the transgender individuals full recognition of their rights, including by not requiring full SRS to change gender.”

“The EOC believes it is time that Hong Kong follows the steps taken by the international community on the recognition and protection of rights of the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community. The EOC is also advocating for legislation to protect LGBTI persons from discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“To systematically identify the discrimination faced by the LGBTI community and explore the possibility of addressing the discrimination through legislation and other means, the EOC has commissioned the Gender Research Centre of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia Pacific Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong to conduct a Feasibility Study on Legislating against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status. The EOC will continue to work with the Government, LGBTI concern groups and related parties to explore possible options for addressing the problems and discrimination faced by LGBTI people.”
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For media enquiry, please contact Ms. Lisa CHAN at 2106-2179.


Equal Opportunities Commission
22 October 2014

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