Celebrating 30 YEARS
of Service to Asia's
Gay & Lesbian Community!

Follow UtopiaAsia
on Facebook,
Twitter, and Pinterest

Covid Recovery Discount: to help build your business back up, we are offering a 50% or higher discount off 12 months on any of our promotions !

HONGKONG - Jul 21, 2007

Upholding a lower court ruling, Hong Kong's highest court has ruled that the territory's laws which apply specifically to gay men but not heterosexuals "for the same or comparable conduct" are unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal on Tuesday upheld a 2006 lower court ruling that invalidated a law penalising public homosexual sodomy under the Crimes Ordinance. It ruled that the law violated Hong Kong's Basic Law and the Bill of Rights.

Chief Justice Andrew Li said in the ruling that the law targets homosexuals and "does not criminalise heterosexuals for the same or comparable conduct."

"Homosexuality constitutes a minority in the community. The provision has the effect of targeting them and is constitutionally invalid," Li ruled. "Section 118F [1] is discriminatory and infringes upon the right to equality."

The original ruling, issued last-September by the Court of Appeal for the High Court, stemmed from the prosecution of two men who acknowledged committing sodomy in a private car parked on a dark and isolated public road at night.

While sodomy is not an offense, it is considered a criminal act if it takes place in public. If found guilty, the men face a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

Last year, a magistrate dismissed the case on the grounds that the law under which they were charged was discriminatory as it did not equally apply to heterosexuals. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision, prompting the government to appeal the case further to the highest court.

The case was the first such prosecution since the law was enacted in 1991 when Hong Kong was a British colony.

Last September, the Court of Appeal for the High Court upheld a 2005 ruling that invalided laws prohibiting homosexual sex, specifically rejecting a law that held that men under 21 who engaged in sodomy could receive a life sentence, while heterosexual and lesbian relationships were legal after the age of 16.

In 2005, William "Billy" Leung, a 20-year-old Hong Kong gay man successfully challenged another law that punishes men under 21 who engage in gay sodomy by up to life imprisonment. The consensual age for heterosexual intercourse in Hong Kong is 16. The Hong Kong government also unsuccessfully appealed that ruling.

Director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, Law Yuk-kai, called the latest judgment an "important milestone" for gay rights.

go to HOME

Arthur & Paul, Phnom Penh's gay men-only resort
Phnom Pehn's gay men-only boutique hotel, spa, pool and restaurant...

QUNCI VILLAS on the tropical island of Lombak
QUNCI VILLAS, a gay-friendly, gay-managed tropical resort on the heavenly island of Lombak, just next to Bali...

Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Amp Puttipong)

Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Siam Pride)

Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Siam Pride)

Bangkok Pride 2023

At Bangkok Pride 2023 (photo: Siam Pride)

Tokyo Rainbow Pride

At Tokyo Rainbow Pride

Cambodia Pride

Dynamic duo at Cambodia Pride

Special photo exhibition by Mark Leighton!


Australia + Bhutan + Cambodia + China (including Hong Kong, Macau, Tibet) + East Timor + India + Indonesia + Japan + Korea + Laos
Malaysia + Mongolia + Myanmar/Burma + Nepal + Philippines + Singapore + Sri Lanka + Taiwan + Thailand + Vietnam

All original text, images and content (c) 1994-2024. Utopia is a Registered Trademark. 乌同邦