Hong Kong: Gay civil servant wins final appeal on spousal benefits for husband in another victory for LGBT community

A gay civil servant won his final appeal on Thursday, ending his long battle to force the Hong Kong government to allow him and his husband spousal benefits and joint tax assessment, in yet another landmark ruling for the city’s LGBT community.

The Court of Final Appeal unanimously ruled in favour of Angus Leung Chun-kwong, a senior immigration officer who took the government to court after being unequally treated by the city’s biggest paymaster and the taxman.

The judgment – in which the court affirmed that the absence of a prevailing view in society was no reason to deny the rights of a minority – was expected to bring same-sex couples, who had entered into marriage overseas, a tax assessment option they were previously unable to enjoy.

Gay and lesbian civil servants would also get spousal benefits, including dental and medical ones, they had been deprived of.

The court gave the government and Leung’s lawyers a little over a month to come up with a plan on how the new arrangements could be put in place.

Leung – who had been travelling overseas with his husband Scott Adams but jumped on a plane on Wednesday almost immediately after learning the judgment was due – said: “Love wins!” Read more via SCMP