LGBT Rights: A Personal Story

LGBT Rights: A Personal Story

LGBT Rights: A Personal Story 1277 679 Hugill & Ip

Angus Leung and Scott Adams discuss their personal journey through the Courts that has resulted in progress for same-sex couples for the recognition of spousal benefits within the civil service and the right to jointly file tax returns.

Two brave and selfless individuals who have pushed their personal fight for civil rights to the forefront in order to achieve more rights that the whole LGBT community in Hong Kong can now benefit from.

Visit our Wills of Concern campaign to find out more about how we are raising funds for AIDS Concern by writing wills for donations until end of 2019.

梁鎮罡和伴侶Scott Adams討論了他們在法院的爭取平權的經歷,這為同志爭取公務員制度中的配偶福利和合併報稅方面取得了重大進展,兩位的努力不懈讓整個香港的同志社區都可以從中受益。

由即日起至2019年12月31日我們會以撰寫遺囑為關懷愛滋籌款。欲知詳情請參閱Wills of Concern。


TRANSCRIPT

 

Will Ripley
So you guys got married five years ago and when you applied for spousal benefits here in Hong Kong: denied! Why did you decide to fight that in Court and tell me what that was like.

你們兩位5年前結婚,當你們在香港申請配偶福利的時候,被拒絕了
為甚麼你們會選擇透過法律途徑去爭取?可以分享一下嗎?

Angus Leung
As civil servants we know that the government has their own code of practice in order to promote equality inside the government and try to prevent discrimination against sexual orientation, so when we got married the first thing that I thought was how I can protect him and I can register him as a partner in my profile in the government. That’s why I wrote to the government and asked to give him the benefits but they denied it so, after a year long of correspondence, they still gave us the same answer all the time and we find that it is a dead end.

作為一名公務員,我知道香港政府內部有自己的守則,倡導一個平等的工作環境,
並且防止性傾向歧視,所以當我們結婚的時候,我第一時間想我該如何保護他
和我可以申請將他列為我在政府檔案裡的配偶,所以我寫信向政府申請相應的福利但卻被拒
經過1年的交涉,他們仍然拒絕我們的申請,感覺像是死胡同,不會有結果

Will Ripley
Did you guys expect that they would say no? Did you know that going in? 你們預計到政府會拒絕嗎?

Scott Adams
Well, yeah. We already knew some other people that had tried to do it and it’s been denied, so we kind of were expecting that. We were pretty determined and we knew it was the right thing so we wanted to push it.

是的,我們有認識一些人的申請亦被拒絕了,所以其實這也是意料之內的
不過我們很有決心,而且我們知道這是對的事,所以仍然選擇申請

Will Ripley
You took on this fight, so please take us through all the emotional ups and downs. 所以你們選擇挑戰,能跟我們分享一下當時的感受嗎?

Angus Leung
It was quite a long battle for us. It was five years’ time, so in the first Court the judge made the right decision and we won the case but at the Court of Appeal we lost the case. So before the Court of Final Appeal when we heard that there was a verdict to come out, we were actually on holiday, so we cut short our holiday and we came back. Because of the Court of Appeal we had lost our case, even though we felt that there was a good discussion about the arguments, in Court we were still very nervous.

這真是一個漫長的抗爭,前後共5年時間,初上法庭,法官做了正確的決定,判我們勝訴
但上訴法庭裁定我們敗訴,後來上訴至終審法院,當我們收到訊息說即將有判決時
我們其實正在度假,我們只好縮短假期然後回來
因為在上訴法庭我們敗訴了,所以即使我們覺得過程中我們有很好的討論
在終審法院其實我們亦很緊張

Will Ripley
It must have been just an incredible moment! And tell me about how same-sex couples around Hong Kong are now benefiting because of this.

那一刻肯定很難忘!那此判決對香港的同性伴侶有甚麼影響?

Scott Adams
Firstly the judges made an unanimous decision that benefits will be equal in the public sector and we believe the same logic should naturally extend into the private sector so we are now trying to encourage a lot of companies in the private sector to update and modify their policies and secondly, regarding the tax benefit, the judges have made a decision that actually the tax law will be re-written to include same-sex couples and same-sex married spouses into tax law. So we can now apply for tax benefits.

首先,法官一致裁定這些福利在公共部門中應該平等,我們相信這個邏輯亦可應用在私營部門中
所以我們嘗試鼓勵更多私營機構更新或修改他們的政策
第二,有關報稅方面,法官裁定有關法律需要重寫
將在稅務條例中加入同性伴侶和已婚同性配偶,所以我們現在可以申請稅務減免了

Will Ripley
How does it feel to sit here knowing that you guys were kind of at the forefront of changing how things work here in Hong Kong? 知道自己為香港帶來改變,有甚麼感覺?

Angus Leung
We didn’t think we were doing it for everyone when we first started, but it was actually a learning process for us too because after a year you learn that there are many people paying attention to the case and you know that this case is not just about us anymore. We always knew that this was the right thing to do and we do want to push it forward.

剛開始的時候並不覺得自己是為了所有人做這件事,反而是一個我們倆的學習過程
因為在1年間我了解到原來這件案件有很多人關注,而且已經不只是牽涉我們兩個人了
我們一直知道這是正確的事,所以我們一直堅持

Scott Adams
From our first interview, we actually had our backs to the camera and we didn’t show our face, so for us it’s been a long personal journey as well this whole experience.

在第一個訪問中我們兩個都背向鏡頭,所以整個經驗對我們也有很多個人改變

Will Ripley
It’s good to see both of you full face. Congratulations! Thank you. 非常高興你們能正面面向鏡頭,恭喜你們!謝謝!

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