Hong Kong: Let transgender people have status recognised

Hong Kong’s equality watchdog has urged the city’s government to recognise the legal status of transgender people without them having to undergo sex reassignment surgery. 

In a potentially controversial move, the Equal Opportunities Commission also proposed that transgender people should be recognised as long as they had made a “statutory declaration that he or she intends to live permanently in his or her affirmed gender”.

The commission’s proposal was in sharp contrast to the views of some local Christian leaders, who suggested that discriminatory issues faced by transgender people could be resolved with social policies and facilities such as gender-neutral toilets, rather than legislation as demanded by LGBT activists.

The government organised a public consultation from June to December last year over the issue of legal recognition for transgender people, to which it had 15,000 responses. The consultation was prompted by a 2013 case in which the top court granted a transgender woman the right to marry her boyfriend. Since the ruling, transgender people who have undergone sex reassignment surgery have been able to get married. But academics say their status remains unclear on other issues such as housing and insurance. Read more via South China Morning Post