Transsexual in Hong Kong wins the right to marry
A transsexual woman has won the right to marry her male partner legally after an appeal that was carried out at the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong.
The woman, who has not been named, had gender reassignment surgery some years ago. However, the marriage registry had refused to marry her because her birth certificate still specified her as male and same sex marriages are not permitted in the country. It is illegal to change birth certificates in Hong Kong.
Four out of the five judges at the Court of Final Appeal ruled in favour of the transsexual woman being allowed to marry her partner, calling the current law unconstitutional.
The majority ruling was written by chief justice Geoffrey Ma and permanent judge Robert Ribeiro. It stated: “The right to marry guaranteed by our constitution extends to the right of a post-operative transsexual to marry in the reassigned capacity.”
In effect, this means that the references to “female” and “woman” in the marriage law of Hong Kong should apply to males who have had gender change surgery to become female.
The ruling continued: “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.”