Hong Kong's Highest Court Considers Trans Woman's Marriage

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com April 15 2013 3:56 PM ET

The highest court in Hong Kong is scheduled to hear this week what is being hailed as the city's first case testing the Chinese province's stance on transgender equality, reports FT.com

The case revolves around a transgender woman who has undergone gender-affirming surgery and legally changed her gender marker to female. The woman, identified only as "W" for privacy reasons, wants Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeals to overturn a lower court ruling declaring that the woman cannot legally marry her boyfriend because she was assigned male at birth. 

FT.com points out the irony that while the government now refuses to recognize her marriage, a government program provided W with counseling and surgery, and the same government permitted W to change her gender marker. 

W's attorney says his client just wants to be sure that the state's definition of "woman" in the law describing marriage as the "union between one man and one woman," will fully, irrevocably apply to her. 

"W is treated as a woman by society in ever other way," W's lawyer, Michael Vidler, told FT.com. "If she was admitted to [a] hospital tomorrow, she would be put in a women's ward. So why should she not be married as a woman?"

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