The Hong Kong government is appealing a High Court ruling last month that entitles a gay civil servant’s spouse to the same benefits as his heterosexual colleagues, as pro-establishment lawmakers lead protest against last month’s ruling.
A Department of Justice spokesman told the South China Morning Post it had applied to appeal against the judgment on Thursday.
“As there are ongoing legal proceedings, it is not appropriate for the department to make further comments,” he said, according to the SCMP.
Also on Thursday, members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong led by Holden Chow Ho-ding petitioned the government to appeal the High Court ruling
Rights activists in Hong Kong celebrated a landmark victory against government policy last month when the High Court rejected the Civil Service Bureau's claim that granting benefits to same-sex spouses would damage "the integrity of the institution of marriage."
Senior immigration official Leung Chun-kwong bought the challenge last year, claiming that the civil service and the Inland Revenue Department should recognise his union to Scott Adams who he married in New Zealand.
Mr Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming labelled the bureau's policy "indirect discrimination" though did not rule in favour of Mr Leung when it came to his tax affairs.
In his ruling, Mr Chow wrote "I am unable to see how denial of 'spousal' benefits to homosexual couples ... legally married under foreign laws could or would serve the purpose of not undermining the integrity of the institution of marriage in Hong Kong."
Mr Leung applauded the decision and said "we simply wanted to be treated fairly and with dignity."
"The government is the biggest employer, the whole of Hong Kong will follow [the decision]," he said according to the South China Morning Post. Mr Leung encouraged the government to take this opportunity to review discriminatory policies.
Photo: Holden Chow Ho-ding on TVB (YouTube)