South China Morning Post

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Hong Kong’s appeal court on Friday overturned a landmark judgment requiring the government to grant the same spousal benefits to employees in same-sex marriages as those enjoyed by their heterosexual colleagues. In a blow to the city’s LGBT community, the Court of Appeal ruled that the government – as not just a private employer but “a custodian of Hong Kong’s prevailing socio-moral values” – had a legitimate aim to protect the institution of traditional marriage. “By granting same-sex married couples … access to spousal benefits, which are unique to marriage, the very status of marriage would diminish significantly in the eyes of the public,” one of the judges, Appeal Justice Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor, said in a written ruling, noting that people might think the government was recognising gay marriage via the “back door”.

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