25 September 2023

HONG KONG: Gay officers slam PS for inequality

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In the wake of a Hong Kong Appeal Court ruling that Public Servants in same-sex marriages are not entitled to the same benefits as their heterosexual colleagues, many gay Government workers fear this may be the beginning of a campaign against them.

Commenting on the fact that the Civil Service Bureau launched the appeal against a lower court’s ruling in favour of a gay senior Immigration Officer, John (not his real name) who works in the Department of Planning, said that even if the Government was not supportive, he would have expected it to at least take a neutral stance.

John’s view was echoed by Alice (also a pseudonym), from the Department of Justice, which helped the Bureau with its appeal.

“The Government should adopt a neutral position and leave the matter to the courts,” Alice said.

“By appealing against the Court of First Instance’s decision, they have expressed their position … that they are actively siding against any form of equal rights or protection for LGBT communities.”

Since the protagonist in the legal battle, Angus Leung Chun-kwong, lost his appeal for spousal benefits for the partner he married in New Zealand, a number of gay PS employees have detailed their frustration and disappointment with the Government and the Appeal Court’s decision.

All feared the court ruling could affect them in the future.

They asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter.

John said that unlike the Government’s reluctance to treat them equally, people at his workplace generally held a positive view towards homosexuality.

“They would accept homosexuality, thinking it’s an individual’s choice,” he said.

He noted that in Taiwan, same-sex marriage was fully recognised.

Hong Kong, 10 June 2018

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