Friday, October 15, 2010

Asia-Pacific Transgender Network Statement on Ms. W Case

TransGriot Note:  Press Statement from APTN Developed Asia Representative Leona Lo concerning the Ms. W case.

For Immediate Release (this version dated 6 Oct 10)
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“It has come to my attention that the Hong Kong High Court has struck down Ms W, a post-operative transgender women’s right to get married to her boyfriend.  Ms W is a woman who simply wishes to settle down with the man she loves and have her marriage legalised.  I cannot see any reason for the Hong Kong High Court to deny her this basic human right.   Ms W deserves to live life on an equal footing with her fellow Hong Kong citizens.  I hereby call upon the Hong Kong High Court and government to respect her basic human right.

Throughout Asia, transgender women remain largely unprotected and unrecognised in the eyes of the law.  We are exposed daily to verbal and physical abuse, not to mention workplace and institutionalised discrimination.  This abuse has to stop.  It is time for the Hong Kong government to truly commit to being a world-class, developed country that is known not only for its financial services but also its humane treatment of its transgender population.  

I agree with the Director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor Law Yuk-Kai’s comment that “A person’s basic human rights are not dependent on majority acceptance” and “The public doesn’t have the right to impose its values on other people” (Source: AP article)

This is an excellent opportunity for the Hong Kong government to show its readiness to embrace the role of a genuine global citizen.  I urge the Hong Kong government to act now to grant Ms W the right to get married.”

Ms Leona Lo
Representative, Developed Asia, Asia-Pacific Transgender Network
Founding Working Group member, Asia-Pacific Transgender Network

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