A court case, which could result in legal equality for foreign same-sex partnerships, has commenced in Hong Kong. According to informed sources, the trial has potential to render landmark change.

The trial focuses on an individual dubbed “QT,” and QT’s female partner. QT’s case centers on her request for a dependant visa from the government. QT and her partner are both nationals of a foreign power.

Sources say that QT and her partner married in the United Kingdom some time ago. QT’s partner was hired for a job in Hong Kong seven years ago, and the couple relocated.

That’s when the legal conflict began. Hong Kong is a former British colony; however, the city’s Immigration Department has thus far denied QT a dependant visa.

According to Pink News, “That means QT has had to live there on a tourist visa and denied the right to work. The couple are also denied the same rights as heterosexual couples. Some of those rights include; getting permanent residency or receiving subsidized public hospital services.”

In a previous case, decided in 2017, QT won in a lower appeal court of Hong Kong. That court ordered that the couple’s civil partnership be recognized by the Hong Kong government, and a dependant visa be issued. The government appealed, resulting in the current standoff.

The Immigration Department has already begun to issue visas to same-sex partnerships. However, these visas may not remain binding under the force of law; it depends on the ruling of the QT case.

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