Hong Kong (AFP) – A British lesbian on Monday won the right to live and work in Hong Kong with her partner in a landmark legal decision that could reduce more hurdles for same-sex couples in the city.
QT, as she is referred to in court, entered into a civil partnership in Britain in 2011 and moved to Hong Kong the same year after her partner was offered a job in the city.
But she was denied a dependant visa and has instead stayed in Hong Kong on a visitor visa, which does not allow her to work.
The Court of Appeal overturned a lower court’s decision last year which rejected her efforts to secure a visa to settle in Hong Kong.
Monday’s decision, reached unanimously by a panel of three judges, said immigration authorities “failed to justify the indirect discrimination on account of sexual orientation that QT suffers”.
Activists and members of the LGBT community applauded the decision.
Ray Chan, a pro-democracy politician and first openly gay lawmaker in Hong Kong, called the case a “big win for same-sex dependents to apply for visa to stay in Hong Kong”.
Campaigners have described the case as a landmark for the socially conservative southern Chinese city, which does not recognise gay marriage and only decriminalised homosexuality in 1991.