Good for our LGBTQ peers in Hong Kong!
A Hong Kong court has ruled earlier this Wednesday that married same-sex couples have the right to apply for public housing, according to Reuters.
This past fall, we shared with you the story of Hong Kong resident Nick Infinger who married his partner in Canada in 2018. The two then looked towards finding an affordable home in Hong Kong, which led them to public housing. In Hong Kong, public housing is a collection of government housing programs that provide affordable housing for low-income residents. Unfortunately, the couple was rejected by the Hong Kong Housing Authority because they weren’t deemed an “ordinary family.” The couple then decided to challenge the decision, which has led to today’s success.
Mr Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming ruled that the refusal was unconstitutional and added that low-income same-sex couples had the same need and right to affordable housing as their opposite-sex coupled peers. The Justice argued that the refusal to a gay couple based on the “ordinary family” definition “resulted in an unacceptably harsh burden on same-sex couples lawfully married overseas, including the applicant.”
“This judgment highlights yet another example of the discriminatory and unconstitutional government policies that LGBT+ people in Hong Kong face every day,” Infinger said in a statement.
In response to this ruling, the Hong Kong Housing Authority said its seeking legal advice “before taking appropriate follow-up actions.”
This is the latest in continual legal battles happening for LGBTQ rights in Hong Kong. Despite the decriminalization of homosexuality in Hong Kong and it’s ruling country of China in 1991, the city-state has continued to be a battlezone for LGBTQ discrimination suits. This includes the 2011 to 2018 court battle over immigration and visa rights for same-sex couples. Thankfully, same-sex couples won that long-fought battle.