Hong Kong’s landmark LGBT ruling on spousal benefits clouded by concerns over implementation

Hong Kong’s LGBT community has hailed a momentous court ruling that brought greater economic rights, but the Post found that some gay Hongkongers remain sceptical about just how the changes might be put into practice.

There was rejoicing among LGBT members on Thursday after the Court of Final Appeal ruled against the government and demanded the city grant spousal benefits to gay civil servants and permit same-sex married couples to have their taxes assessed jointly, just like heterosexual couples.

Yet some questioned whether gay civil servants would be prepared to reap these benefits at the expense of “outing” themselves in the workplace. Others bemoaned the fact that the ruling did not cover gay employees in the private sector.

Although married gay couples can soon have joint tax assessments, it is unclear whether they would ever get other tax allowances available to heterosexual couples, including a deduction for cohabiting in-laws, lawyers and activists told the Post. Read more via SCMP