Concept of family so important

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 May, 2013, 1:51am

The Court of Final Appeal case of W v Registrar of Marriages made headlines in Hong Kong and around the world ("Transsexual granted right to wed", May 14).

While clarifying the situation for transsexuals may be positive, I am concerned that the court has gone too far in potentially changing the definition of marriage and weakening the concept of family.

Dissenting judge, Patrick Chan Siu-oi, quite rightly pointed out the importance of marriage and the family.

I hope the government will act with caution when implementing this judgment, and where possible, prevent the dilution of the concept of marriage, to where it is just a relationship, albeit registered.

Procreation should be an important part of marriage, as one of the main purposes of a marriage is to start a family and raise children.

It may be beneficial to have different classifications for unions other than marriage, such as "transsexual unions", so as not to dilute the meaning of marriage, which would weaken the concept of family.

The concept of family, comprising parents and their biological children, is unique to the relationship of marriage.

It has no connection with other kinds of relationships (for example, transsexual and same-sex unions), a point recognised by major religions around the world.

Divorce rates in Hong Kong have skyrocketed in recent years, and it would only be right for the government to reverse this trend by strengthening marriage in order to protect children and family relationships.

The fact that Mother's Day, Father's Day, and other family days in Hong Kong are widely celebrated shows the importance of families to the people of Hong Kong, which is something that will lose its significance if we were to destroy the concept of marriage.

In most cases, it is best for children to be raised by their biological parents, and to have a relationship with relatives in the wider family.

This is only possible if we preserve the traditional concept of marriage in our society.

The government, when implementing the judgment, should take into consideration the children of a family, as well as overall family dynamics, rather than focusing solely on a relationship between two individuals, given that some of these relationships should not be defined as a marriage.

Edward Choi, Pok Fu Lam