It looks like LGBTQ people in Hong Kong be forced to fight another day for same-sex marriage, unions, and partnerships.
A Hong Kong court has ruled against redefining the meaning of marriage. If they had done so, same-sex unions and civil partnerships would have been permitted in the city-state.
According to CNN, the original case was brought forward to the Court of First Instance by a woman known as MK. MK complained that the government’s lack of marriage options in Hong Kong violated her constitutional rights.
Ultimately, the court’s judges didn’t agree. They ruled that the evidence brought forward by MK and her allies was not “sufficiently strong or compelling.”
“Were the court to ‘update’ the meaning of ‘marriage’ to include a same-sex marriage, it would be introducing a new social policy on a fundamental issue with far reaching legal, social and economic consequences and ramifications,” the court document said.
The document then added, “It is beyond the proper scope of the functions or powers of the court.”
That said, there might be a small silver lining. Despite deciding against legalizing same-sex unions and partnerships, the court did realize that there is more to be done and said on this topic. After its ruling, the court shared, “nevertheless, the court believes that there is much to be said for the Government to undertake a comprehensive review on this matter.”
In reaction to this decision, Amnesty International said the LGBTQ community in Hong Kong had been hit by a “bitter blow.”
“Sadly, the discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples will continue for the time being,” they said in a statement. “This result is deeply disappointing but will not dampen the fight for LGBTI rights in Hong Kong.”
It added: “This judgment must not be used as an excuse to further undermine the rights of LGBTI people. The Hong Kong government needs to step up and take all necessary measures to deliver equality and dignity for all, regardless of who people love.”
Brian Leung, the chief operating officer of the LGBTQ BigLove Alliance, said: “If we have to take it to the Court of Final Appeal every time, it is a waste of taxpayer’s money and our effort.”
He also cast doubts on the possibility of the government passing legislation in regard to LGBTQ rights, as they have adopted an attitude of “not listening and not making concessions.”