The 'W' case... a transgender woman's right to marry


The case in short.

'W' a young Hong Kong Chinese transgender woman (post-op), wanted to marry her boyfriend. She was told Hong Kong law did not allow this, on the grounds that she was legally a man, that her partner was a man, and that same-sex marriage is not allowed in Hong Kong. She sought a judicial review of this policy, arguing that:

a. she should be regarded as a woman for the purposes of the Marriage Ordinance of Hong Kong and that, if this was not possible,

b. the Marriage Ordinance should be ruled as violating her rights under Hong Kong's Bill of Rights Ordinance, as well as Hong Kong's Basic Law. 


The Judge's decision, and associated documents

The Judge's decision (5th Oct 2010) (denying both arguments in her case, and upholding the government's policy on transgender marriage).

A short summary of the Judge's 105 page ruling  (Sam Winter) .

Fearing the Slippery Slope: a transsexual marriage case in Hong Kong. A careful social and legal analysis by Professor Doug Sanders, a human rights legal scholar at the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand 

Editorial in South China Morning Post (SCMP: Hong Kong's leading English language newspaper) criticises the decision (7/10/10)

Other commentaries

Public bias in private lives. Stephen Vines, social and political commentator (published in the SCMP, 10/10/10)

Next the right to Marry. Robyn Emerton, human rights legal scholar, formerly of the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, Facu) (published in the SCMP, 14/10/10))

A March over the Years towards Choice. Marco Wan, legal scholar, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong (published in the SCMP, 20/10/10)

A Man and a Woman.  Really?  John Erni. teaches cultural studies and human rights at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Draft of a paper to appear in Dim Sum (uploaded here 19/11/10),



(....the case is expected to go to Appeal)