Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal issued a verdict on Thursday, June 6, that grants spousal rights and benefits to a same-sex couple. The verdict stated that the spouse of a gay civil servant who married overseas should receive spousal rights and benefits under the territory's anti-discrimination laws. Public demonstrations and associated disruptions are possible in the coming hours and days, particularly near the Chater Garden and the Court of Final Appeal courthouse.
Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions and homosexuality was criminalized until 1991. The court previously ruled on a case that allowed a spousal visa for a foreign same-sex couple. Other cases involving civil partnerships and marriage are currently being heard in lower courts.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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