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香港法院裁决同性伴侣有权获得配偶签证
Same-Sex Couples Entitled to Equal Visa Rights, Hong Kong Court Says

来源:纽约时报    2018-07-05 05:09



        HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s top court ruled on Wednesday that committed same-sex couples living in the city had the same rights to spousal visas as married heterosexual couples, a decision that advocates said could have ripple effects in advancing gay rights.        香港——香港终审法院周三裁决,在该市居住的同性伴侣与结了婚的异性伴侣享有同样的配偶签证权,权益倡导人士表示,该决定可能对推进同性恋权利具有深远影响。
        The case, which was brought in 2014 by a British woman who wanted to join her partner, galvanized gay rights activists who said that Hong Kong had not been living up to its image as “Asia’s world city” by failing, until now, to recognize such rights. Banks and law firms had pushed for such recognition to lure and keep top talent in the financial and business center.
        2014年,一名希望与伴侣一道获得签证的英国女性对该案提起诉讼,受到刺激的同性恋权益倡导人士曾表示香港一直未能认可此类权利,辜负了其“亚洲国际都会”的形象。银行和律所已经推动让此类权利得到认可,以吸引和留住这个金融、商业中心的顶尖人才。
        “This judgment is a milestone for Hong Kong and a watershed moment” for gay rights across Asia, Jan Wetzel, senior legal adviser at Amnesty International, said in a statement.        “这一裁决是香港的里程碑,也是‘亚洲各地同性恋权利’的分水岭时刻”,国际特赦组织(Amnesty International)高级法律顾问扬·维哲尔(Jan Wetzel)在一份声明中表示。
        The woman at the center of the case, known in court papers only as QT, came to Hong Kong as a visitor in 2011, several months after entering a same-sex civil partnership in Britain with SS, a woman of South African and British nationality who had taken a job in Hong Kong. QT’s application for a dependent visa was refused on the basis that marriage is defined in Hong Kong as the union of one man and one woman.        位于该案中心的那名女子(法庭文件仅称其为QT)在2011年以访客身份来到香港,此前几个月,她在英国与SS结成了同性民事伴侣关系,SS是一名拥有南非和英国国籍的女子,她接受了一份香港的工作。当局以香港婚姻为一名男子与一名女子结合的依据,拒绝了QT的受养人签证申请。
        Without such a visa, a foreign partner would be able to stay in Hong Kong only on a short-term tourist visa and would not be able to work or receive public services.        没有这种签证,外国伴侣仅能持短期旅游签证留在香港,并且无法工作或获得公共服务。
        QT took the government to court, claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation. She lost in 2016 in the Court of First Instance, which said it would be unlawful for the government to accept same-sex partnerships “through the back door.” Last fall, the Court of Appeal ruled unanimously in her favor on the grounds that the visa policy was indirectly discriminatory. That decision was upheld in Wednesday’s unanimous ruling by the Court of Final Appeal.        QT将政府告上法庭,声称后者存在基于性取向的歧视。2016年,她在原讼法庭败诉,当时法院表示政府通过“走后门”接受同性伴侣形式是不合法的。去年秋天,上诉法庭以签证政策为间接歧视为由,一致作出了有利于她的判决。该决定在周三终审法庭一致作出的裁决中得到了支持。
        In a statement, QT said the ruling “affirms what millions of us in this wonderful and vibrant city know to be true, that discrimination based on sexual orientation, like any other form of discrimination, is offensive and demeaning.”        在声明中,QT表示该裁决“重申了在这个美好、充满活力的城市中数百万人知道的事实,即基于性取向的歧视和任何其他形式的歧视一样,都是冒犯且有损人格的”。
        Her lawyer, Michael Vidler, said that while the case was not specifically about same-sex marriage in Hong Kong, the decision had implications for local residents as well as expatriates.        她的律师韦智达(Michael Vidler)表示,尽管该案不是专门关于香港同性婚姻的,但这一决定对当地居民及侨居香港的人都有很大意义。
        For Hong Kong residents who have gone abroad to marry in Canada, the United States and other countries that recognize same-sex marriage, Mr. Vidler said, the ruling could be applied in areas like housing, succession rights and adoption rights.        对前往加拿大、美国及其他承认同性婚姻的国家结婚的香港居民来说,这个裁决可应用于住房、继承权及领养权等领域,韦智达说。
        “Logically, if the government is going to apply this decision in relation to immigration policy, it should see that the writing is on the wall,” he said, although it may require litigation.        “从逻辑上来说,如果政府要将这个判决应用于与移民政策相关的事务,前景已经很清楚了,”他说,尽管可能还需要经过诉讼。
        A spokesman for the Immigration Department said the government respected the court’s decision.        入境事务处的一名发言人表示政府尊重法院的决定。
        “We are studying the judgment carefully and shall seek legal advice as necessary before deciding the way forward,” he said.        “我们正在仔细研究裁决,在决定如何向前推进,会在必要时寻求法律意见,”他说。
        More than 30 major banks and law firms had petitioned the court to participate in the final appeal, citing concerns that Hong Kong’s immigration policy made the city less attractive to top international talent. Their request was denied.        超过30家大型银行和律所都已经向法庭申请参加最终上诉,理由是担心香港的移民政策已经对国际人才吸引力下降。他们的请求遭到了拒绝。
        The QT ruling is seen as a promising development for a case brought by Angus Leung, a gay civil servant who is seeking to claim spousal benefits for his British partner. Mark Daly, Mr. Leung’s lawyer, said he would review the decision to see how it applied to the case, which they lost at the appeals level last month and plan to appeal to the top court.        QT案的裁决被视为同性恋公务员梁镇罡(Angus Leung)提起诉讼后的良好进展,他正在谋求为其英国籍伴侣获得配偶福利。梁镇罡的律师帝理迈(Mark Daly)表示,他将对该裁决进行评估,以确定能如何适用于自己代理的案子,他们上个月在上诉法庭败诉,正计划上诉到终审法庭。
        Mr. Leung said the ruling demonstrated that “without undermining the current Hong Kong marriage system, there’s always a way to give same-sex benefits without any discrimination.”        梁镇罡说,这项裁决显示,“在不损害香港现行婚姻制度的情况下,总是有办法给予同性恋者福利而不歧视他们”。
        The ruling also came a day after the University of Hong Kong released the results of a 2017 poll showing that more than half of Hong Kong residents surveyed support same-sex marriage, compared with 38 percent in 2013.        作出这项裁决的一天前,香港大学公布了一项2017年民调的结果,显示在接受调查的香港居民中,半数以上支持同性婚姻,而2013年这一比例为38%。
        The survey also found similar support among Hong Kong residents for granting immigration visas to same-sex partners.        这项调查也发现,香港居民同样支持向同性伴侣发放移民签证。
        That shift is in line with international trends, said Kelley Loper, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law who was involved in running the survey.        参与了这项调查的香港大学法学院副教授凯莉·洛珀(Kelley Loper)说,这一转变符合国际趋势。
        “Hong Kong is an international, cosmopolitan city, so it’s not surprising that views are becoming more progressive over time,” she said.        “香港是一座国际化的大都市,因此随着时间推移,观念越来越进步并不奇怪”,她说。
        Public opinion in Hong Kong has been influenced by a court ruling in Taiwan last year that could make it the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, said Waiwai Yeo, a spokeswoman for the Les Corner Empowerment Association, a Hong Kong group that advocates equal rights for female sexual minorities.        女性性少数群体平权倡导组织女角平权协作组(Les Corner Empowerment Association)的发言人姚慧慧(音)说,香港民众的看法受到了台湾去年一项法院判决的影响,那项判决可能会使台湾成为亚洲第一个将同性婚姻合法化的地区。
        Local events like the Hong Kong Pride Parade and Pink Dot have also shaped public opinion, Ms. Yeo said, as has the greater publicity surrounding openly gay celebrities like the Hong Kong actor Vinci Wong, who came out in 2013 and married his boyfriend in 2016.        姚慧慧说,香港的骄傲游行和一点粉红(Pink Dot)等本土活动也塑造了公众态度,香港演员王贤志(Vinci Wong)等公开身份的同性恋名人得到的更广大宣传也起到了作用,王贤志于2013年出柜,并于2016年与他的男友结婚。
        But strong opposition to gay rights remains in what is in many ways a conservative society. Last month, a Hong Kong group said it had successfully petitioned the government to remove children’s books that discuss same-sex parenting and related themes from the main stacks of public libraries.        但在这个从许多方面而言仍算保守的社会里,对同性恋权利的强烈反对依然存在。上个月,一个香港团体表示,它已成功地向政府请愿,要求从公共图书馆的主要书库中取下有关同性父母育儿和相关主题的儿童书籍。
        Ten books, with titles like “Mommy, Mama, and Me,” “Daddy, Papa, and Me” and “The Boy in the Dress,” were moved to closed stacks, where people can get access to them only by asking librarians, according to the group, the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group.        根据上述组织性倾向条例家庭关注组(Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group),包括《妈咪、妈妈和我》(Mommy, Mama, and Me)、《爹地、爸爸和我》(Daddy, Papa, and Me)和《穿裙子的男孩》(The Boy in the Dress)在内的十本书被移到了封闭的书库,人们只能通过询问图书管理员才能找到它们。
        Ms. Yeo noted that while almost 70 percent of respondents in the Hong Kong University poll favored a law against discrimination based on sexual orientation, the government had not moved to establish one. Hong Kong was chosen to hold the Gay Games in 2022, but it could end up being the first host city where same-sex marriage is not recognized.        姚慧慧指出,虽然在香港大学的民调中,近七成受访者赞成制定一项禁止性取向歧视的法律,但政府并未采取行动。香港被选为2022年同性恋运动会(Gay Games)的举办地,但最终可能成为第一个不承认同性婚姻的主办城市。
        Raymond Chan, an opposition member of the Legislative Council who is Hong Kong’s first openly gay lawmaker, wrote a post for Medium in which he applauded QT and others for going through “a mentally and financially draining legal process.”        香港第一位公开身份的同性恋立法议员、立法会反对党成员陈志全在Medium上撰文,称赞QT和其他人熬过了“一场耗神费财的法律过程”。
        In an email, he pointed out that many international banks and law firms in Hong Kong had moved on their own to provide benefits for their employees’ same-sex partners, putting them “light-years” ahead of local officials.        他在一封电子邮件中指出,香港的许多国际银行和律师事务所已自行为员工的同性伴侣提供福利,使他们比当地官员领先了“几个光年”。
        Mr. Chan said that the government should take the opportunity to establish civil unions, but that it was unlikely to do so. In the meantime, he plans to call for Hong Kong to study how the process would work.        陈志全说,政府应该借此机会成立公民工会,但它不太可能这样做。与此同时,他计划呼吁香港研究这一过程将如何运作。
        “The government will face endless legal and political challenges if it keeps on stalling progress toward equality,” he said.        他说:“如果政府继续拖延迈向平等的进程,将面临无穷无尽的法律和政治挑战。”
        Alan Chan, a volunteer aide to Mr. Chan who is not related to the lawmaker, said the ruling could allow him to reunite with his partner of eight years, an American living in Taiwan.        陈志全的志愿助理艾伦·陈(Alan Chan,两人无亲缘关系)说,这项裁决可以让他与他八年的伴侣、一名旅居台湾的美国人团聚。
        “It just solved a lot of problems in our lives,” he said, “because we’re now in a long-distance relationship. We’ve been doing this for a while, so I kind of got used to it. But we know that one day, someday, we want to be together again.”        他说:“这就解决了我们生活中的许多问题,因为我们现在处于异地恋中。我们已经这样一段时间了,所以我都有点习惯了。但我们知道,有一天,总有一天,我们想再次相聚。”
                
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