A transgender pastor who has gone to court in Hong Kong to win the right to marry same-sex couples said on Wednesday that he conducts such weddings in secret because of the risk of arrest.
Marrz Balaoro was arrested in 2017 for holding ceremonies in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight (LGBTS) Christian Church, which he founded in the global financial hub in 2014, although the charges were eventually dropped.
"I asked (the police) for a written confirmation that I would not get arrested when I officiate a holy union again and they refused," said the 62-year-old Filipino domestic helper who moved to Hong Kong in 1981 and began living as a boy aged 12.
"We cannot do it in the open because of fear of arrest."
Homosexuality has been decriminalised since 1991 in Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The city has an annual pride parade and lively gay scene but it does not recognise same-sex marriage. Read more via Reuters