Transsexuals protest outside marriage registry for the right to wed

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 August, 2010, 12:00am

A group of transsexuals took to the streets yesterday to air their grievances for the first time since a recent landmark legal case brought by a post-operative transsexual woman who wants to marry her boyfriend.

Five transsexuals and five volunteers of the group Rainbow Action, who are anxiously awaiting a ruling in the case, said they were disappointed with the government's view that an important part of marriage is the role of the couple having sex and producing children.

They said they felt hurt by the arguments put forward in court by Monica Carss-Frisk QC for the government. Carss-Frisk told Mr Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung in the Court of First Instance that the current definition of man and woman did not encompass transsexuals.

A two-day hearing was held earlier this month in the case, brought by a male-to-female transsexual identified only as W, who challenged the Registrar of Marriages because it barred her from marrying her boyfriend. The judge reserved his decision.

Rainbow Action staged its protest at the marriage registry at the Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui yesterday morning. Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit said they hoped Carss-Frisk would apologise for what she said in court, which was 'insulting' and 'discriminatory'.

The group said transsexuals should enjoy equal rights to marry, and the ability to have children was irrelevant to marriage. Sham said it would be insulting to females if reproductive ability was considered to be what defined a real woman. The group hoped the public would be more considerate to transsexuals and would take the initiative to understand them better.