Hong Kong: Lawmakers to debate bill for equal recognition of ‘non-operative’ transgender people

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Lawmakers in Hong Kong are set to debate over a bill that would allow transgender people unwilling to undergo full gender reassignment surgery to have the same rights as ‘post-operative’ transsexuals.

According to South China Morning Post, the proposed bill follows the Court of Final Appeal ruling last year which came out in favour of a trans woman seeking the right to marry her boyfriend,

On Friday, the Security Bureau published the bill to amend the city’s marriage ordinance which, if passed, would allow trans people unwilling to undergo full gender reassignment surgery the same legal recognitions as all other trans people.

Michael Vidler, who was the lawyer for ‘W’ in the marriage case last year, said: “I am surprised they are doing this, because it flies in the face of indications by the city’s highest court as to how the matter should be dealt with.

“The judgment made it clear that Hong Kong’s policies should be reviewed with an aim to comply with international human-rights standards, and to use the British Gender Recognition Act as a model.”

The Court of Final Appeal also described Britain’s system as a “compelling model” for Hong Kong.

Kaspar Wan, a 35-year-old transgender man, said: “I have heard of many cases of botched surgeries in Hong Kong. But despite the risks, transgender people feel pressured to get the surgery anyway. It amounts to forced sterilisation.”

However, lawmaker Dr Priscilla Leung Mei-fun warned that the bill would lead to “social chaos.”

She said: “Hong Kong is not a Western society and should not follow Britain’s model.”

Raymond Chan Chi-chuen of People Power also added: “The bill is so restrictive that I’m concerned it would create more problems than it would solve.”

The Legislative Council will debate the issue on March 19.

Earlier this year Honk Kong lawmakers sparked anger within the LGBT community by refusing to carry out a public consultation on LGBT rights.