I am new to this stackexchange and the field of law, so please kindly point out what I am wrong, and what should be corrected! :)

Here are some background information I should list out, which I have serious doubt on.

Base on the "Sino-British Joint Declaration", the [Basic Law][1] is, and should be treated as a constitution for Hong Kong Special Administration Region. For the law itself, in Article 25 it states:

Article 25
All Hong Kong residents shall be equal before the law.

And in Article 37 it states:

Article 37
The freedom of marriage of Hong Kong residents and their right to raise a family freely shall be protected by law.

As for [the Ordinance of marriages in Hong Kong][2]:

According to the Ordinance(Cap 181) s40, it states:

(1) Every marriage under this Ordinance shall be a Christian marriage or the civil equivalent of a Christian marriage.

(2) The expression "Christian marriage or the civil equivalent of a Christian marriage" implies a formal ceremony recognized by the law as involving the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

In the case "Leung TC William Roy v Secretary for Justice", we learnt that the case influenced the explanation of "[Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance][3]" s1 and s22, which includes the category of sexual orientation.

Therefore my question would be: To the extend of freedom of marriage, and the right to raise a family freely, isn't the Marriage Ordinance is exact the opposite, which restricts the freedom of will that one would want same sex marriage?

Would the freedom of marriage includes same sex couples?

And will it become unconstitutional to the Ordinance itself, because of the allowance to one man and one woman?

Due to not enough reputation, I cannot post more than 3 links.

  [1]: http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basiclawtext/chapter_3.html
  [2]: http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E532/77660986F23DE390482575EE004A8F5C/$FILE/CAP_181_e_b5.pdf
  [3]: http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E532/AE5E078A7CF8E845482575EE007916D8/$FILE/CAP_383_e_b5.pdf
  • This ordinance specifically states that it only applies to one man one woman marriages. It may be some other one says that this ordinance is the only one that can apply, that one you might question on these grounds if it exists.
    – user4460
    Nov 23, 2016 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


Would the freedom of marriage includes same sex couples?

Maybe, maybe not.

The US Supreme Court recently determined that the word "marriage" means a union between two people regardless of sex. The Australian High Court ruled that "marriage" must be between a man and a woman unless parliament changes the law.

I do not know if the equivalent Hong Kong Court has decided the meaning of "marriage" and, if so, what it is.


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