Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ms W's Final Trans Marriage Legal Appeal Starts

TransGriot Note: Here's another one you can e-mail to Karin Quimby

Been keeping up with along with my trans sisters in the Asia-Pacific Rim region and around the world the case of Ms. W ever since it started back in 2010.

It's also an example along with the now resolved Joanne Cassar case of how the same-gender marriage push has deleteriously affected the ability of transwomen in some areas of the world to get married. 

She's the transwoman who is now in her 30's that has been fighting a pitched legal battle in Hong Kong to have her rights recognized to marry her boyfriend.

She was back in court on her final two day appeal of this landmark legal case that started Monday (Sunday US time)   Ms W is seeking to overturn two previous rulings that went against her and had the effect of keeping the ban on her getting married (along with other transpeople in Hong Kong) in place.  

The city's Registrar of Marriages is claiming that since her birth certificate states she was born male and it can't be changed, she is still male despite having government funded SRS in Hong Kong and Ms. W changing all other identity documents to reflect her life as a female.

And as you probably guessed, only marriages between male and female couples are recognized in Hong Kong.   Never mind the fact that Ms W has done everything possible including a government funded genital surgery to be recognized as female. 

“We say the laws of marriage can and should recognize that sexual identity can change,” W’s attorney David Pannick told the court in his opening arguments.

“The right to marry is fundamental... the birth certificate is a record of historical facts,” he said, adding that W is now “medically, psychologically and socially” a woman.

Pannick said the Registrar of Marriages should recognize his client’s new gender, which is stated in official documents like her identity card and passport, and a denial of her bid to marry violates her constitutional rights.

Well, duh.  It's obvious to any of us without law degrees looking at it simply on the face of the human rights issues that Hong Kong is violating Ms. W's human and constitutional rights, but unfortunately we aren't the people wearing judicial robes and making the ruling on this case.

And it's even more ironic that if Ms W were living across the border in China and not in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that's under British law, she would have been happily married a few years ago. 

Here's hoping the judges in this case do the right thing, overturn the two previous jacked up rulings and let our trans sister (and everyone else in Hong Kong who would like to) get married.   

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