Hong Kong allows transsexual woman to marry her boyfriend

The Court of Final Appeal’s decision only covers the right of a transgender person who was born male to marry a man, and for one who was born female to marry a woman

Reporters crowd around a speakerphone as they listen to a transgender woman it after she won a legal ruling at Hong Kong’s top court allowing her to marry her boyfriend.

Reporters crowd around a speakerphone as they listen to a transgender woman it after she won a legal ruling at Hong Kong’s top court allowing her to marry her boyfriend.

Tue, May 14, 2013, 01:00

A transsexual woman will be allowed to marry her boyfriend after Hong Kong’s top court allowed her appeal, a ruling hailed as a landmark but which stops short of allowing same-sex marriage.

The Court of Final Appeal’s decision only covers the right of a transgender person who was born male to marry a man, and for one who was born female to marry a woman.

The ruling brings Hong Kong, into line with other countries in the region, including China, Singapore, India, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, where transgender people are allowed to marry as their new gender.

The woman was identified only as W; her lawyer, Michael Vidler, said his client was “overjoyed”.

W, who is in her 30s, was not in court, but she said in a statement read by her lawyer: “I have lived my life as a woman and treated as a woman in all respects except as regards to my right to marry. This decision rights that wrong.”

Hong Kong’s marriage registry had originally refused the transsexual’s marriage request because her birth certificate still classed her as male.

The court said the right to marry guaranteed by Hong Kong’s constitution extended to the right of a post-operative transsexual to marry in the reassigned capacity.

“In present-day multicultural Hong Kong, where people profess many different religious faiths or none at all . . . procreation is no longer (if it ever was) regarded as essential to marriage,” it continued.