Hong Kong: LGBT couples are treated differently by the law in nearly 100 ways, report finds

A report commissioned by the city’s equality watchdog has identified nearly 100 ways that people in unconventional relationships – including same-sex marriages and LGBT partnerships – are treated differently under Hong Kong law.

The wide-ranging report, initiated by the Equal Opportunities Commission, examined more than 1,700 provisions across the city’s 537 ordinances and subsidiary laws. Legal researchers then studied how the laws treated same-sex civil partners and cohabitants compared with heterosexual married couples.

The report, which will be released to the public on Wednesday, was titled “The Recognition And Treatment of Relationships under Hong Kong Law”. It looked at 21 areas of comparison – from the rights of children and access to public welfare and services, to whether one would have to pay the fine for littering.

“The report considers the recognition and treatment of different types of relationship across all areas of Hong Kong law,” said Matt Bower, a partner at Allen & Overy, the law firm engaged to conduct the study on a pro bono basis.

A spokesman for the commission said the report “highlighted that Hong Kong’s marital and family status anti-discrimination laws only protect those who are recognised as married by Hong Kong law”.

“It is very informative and raises a whole set of issues regarding the recognition and treatment of relationships under Hong Kong Law,” the spokesman said. Read more via SCMP