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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

Final appeal to recognize overseas same-sex marriages to proceed in late June

Final appeal to recognize overseas same-sex marriages to proceed in late June

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal will proceed with the appeal for the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages in the city filed by gay rights activist Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit on June 28, according to the judiciary’s website.
The legal fight dates back to 2013 when Sham married his partner in New York. Sham then filed a judicial review in 2018, asking the court to declare that it was against the constitution that local laws do not recognize overseas same-sex marriages.

Sham lost two legal bids in a row in the High Court’s Court of First Instance in 2020 and in the Court of Appeal last August.

The judgment passed down by the Court of Appeal earlier said a marriage under the Basic Law is exclusive to a heterosexual couple, which is not a basic human rights violation.

Yet, Sham was granted a certificate to take his appeal to the Court of Final Appeal – the city’s highest level of court with the power of final adjudication on local laws – last November.

When granting Sham the certificate, the Court of Appeal concluded that the three controversies raised by Sham were “reasonably arguable.”

The controversies challenged whether it is constitutional to exempt the right of same-sex marriage, to fail to provide same-sex partner legal recognition other than marriage, and to deny overseas same-sex marriages.

Sham, 35, is the former convener of pro-democracy organization Civil Human Rights Front, disbanded in August 2021.

He is one of the defendants who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to subvert state power among 47 democrats arrested over the 35+ primary election and has been remanded in custody for over two years.
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