The Chinese city-state of Hong Kong has recorded a record amount of support for same-sex marriage. Approximately half of the citizens of Hong Kong support gay marriage.

This is a marked increase from the previous statistic of thirty-eight percent, which was noted in 2013.

According to Gay Star News, “Another encouraging statistic showed 78% of people thought same-sex couples should have at least some of the same rights as straight couples. That’s a jump of 5% since 2013.”

This report comes shortly after a historic Hong Kong court decision. The Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong ruled that same-sex couples, under law, should be allowed (and entitled) to the same visas as married straight couples.

According to the New York Times, “QT took the government to court, claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation. She lost in 2016 in the Court of First Instance, which said it would be unlawful for the government to accept same-sex partnerships “through the back door.” Last fall, the Court of Appeal ruled unanimously in her favor on the grounds that the visa policy was indirectly discriminatory. That decision was upheld in Wednesday’s unanimous ruling by the Court of Final Appeal.”

The case originally arose when a British woman requested a dependent visa from the former colony. The woman, referred to as QT, was married to a woman in a United Kingdom ceremony several years ago.

However, the Immigration Department of Hong Kong refused to grant QT a visa, because the country did not recognize their marriage.

What surprised many observers was the degree of support from Hong Kong citizens for QT’s court case.

An organization called the Center for Comparative and Public Law joined up several years ago with the University of North Carolina and RTI International to carry out research on public approval of same-sex marriage.

Phone interviews were conducted with Hong Kong respondents, both in 2013 and in 2017.

The researchers said there was a discrepancy between the law (which did not recognize same-sex marriage) and public opinion; the poll suggested sixty-nine percent of Hong Kong citizens were in favor of laws which protected LGBTQ persons from discrimination.

According to Yiu-tung Suen from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the study showed that the “support for the rights of same-sex couples has grown markedly over a short period.”

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