Landmark ruling for transsexual echoes far and wide

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 May, 2013, 8:53pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Monday’s historic decision at the Court of Final Appeal - giving a transgender woman the right to marry her boyfriend - has been labelled “groundbreaking” and a “watershed ruling” by several foreign media outlets.

Michael Vilder, who represented the appellant known only as W, called the judgment a “resounding victory”. He told the Gay Star News, which covers LGBT news:

“That marriage ordinance should be read to include transgender women and also our human rights point was taken, in that it was a breach of her constitutional rights [to marry]. We won on both grounds, which was nice.”

Reports by the BBC, Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press news service point out that court documents say the ruling is in line with other places in the Asia Pacific, including mainland China, Singapore, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as parts of the EU and Canada.

The Wall Street Journal's China Realtime Report also quoted a gay rights advocate, who said:

“It’s quite absurd that Hong Kong has maintained an obsolete position for so long,” said Law Yuk-kai, who heads the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor.

The story also appeared in Spanish on the news site Emol in Santiago, Chile, and on Panorama in Venezuela.

Reaction on Twitter was mostly positive.

For some, the question now turns to same-sex marriage and whether it will be legalised in Hong Kong.