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Hong Kong: Trans marriage bill vetoed in second reading

Aaron Day October 23, 2014

Hong Kong lawmakers have dismissed an amendment to marriage laws that would recognise transgender people who have undergone surgery.

The bill, which has been stalled for over a year, would have aligned the Marriage Ordinance with a Court of Final Appeal decree last year in favour of a trans woman who won a three-year-long battle to marry her boyfriend.

However, the Marriage (Amendment) Bill was shot by 40 lawmakers at its second reading yesterday. Only 11 Beijing loyalists supported it and five abstained.

According to the South China Morning Post, security minister Lai Tung-kwok has come under fire from lawmakers for failing to lobby enough support before trying to push through law revisions.

Mr Tung-kwok said: “It does not add any extra requirement apart from the Court of Final Appeal’s judgment.”

The bill was delayed by objections that it equated to a legalisation of same-sex marriage, which remains banned in Hong Kong.

Since July, only transgender people who have completed full sex reassignment surgery can marry a person of the opposite sex.

Surgery for trans men can often be dangerous, risky, costly and invasive.

In July, a trans man launched a legal challenge against the new law that would have banned him from marrying unless he underwent the surgery.

The Australian state of Victoria recently invalidated the marriage of a trans man, because some of his documents did not recognise his gender.

The British Consulate in Hong Kong is banned from conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies, despite the British Consulate in China permitting them.

More: civil partnership, equal marriage, gay marriage, gay wedding, lesbian marriage, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage ban, marriage equality, same sex marriage, Same-sex wedding, wedding

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