Same-sex marriage is an ever-growing presence around the world.
Secular activists are forcing countries across the globe to legalize and even support same-sex marriage with few places resisting the tide.
Hong Kong, however, has stood firm in recent days as one of the few regions refusing to legalize same-sex marriage.
Five months after Taiwan became the first Asian country to recognize homosexual unions, homosexual couples residing in Hong Kong grew restless. It wasn’t right, they argued, that the city of Hong Kong hadn’t yet legalized homosexual “marriages.”
The city of Hong Kong has already decriminalized homosexuality, but that wasn’t enough for LGBT activists, who demanded the city change its definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
One lesbian in Hong Kong appealed to the Court of First Instance, claiming that “the failure of the government to give her options for legally sharing her life with another woman violated her constitutional rights.”
Never mind that she was already able to pursue this lifestyle legally in the city.
But LGBT activists around the world have made the same arguments over and over, so this woman’s claim was nothing new.
The judge’s reaction to it, however, was out of the ordinary.
Unlike many other judges, Judge Anderson Chow Ka-ming recognized that “updating” the city’s definition of marriage to include homosexual unions would result in “far-reaching consequences.”
Judge Ka-ming is right: the legalization of same-sex unions is only the beginning of a slippery slope. When the government supports homosexual behavior, all that can follow is more acceptance of immorality.
It was “beyond the proper scope of the functions or powers of the court, in the name of interpretation, to seek to effect a change of social policy on such a fundamental issue,” said Judge Ka-ming.
He went on to say that the court was expressing “no view on the associated social, moral, and/or religious issues” in its ruling about the legality of same-sex unions.
In other words, this judge recognized that his courtroom was not the place to make decisions about an issue of such immense moral proportions.
“The court’s only proper role,” he added, “is to determine the application based strictly on legal considerations.”
Naturally, LGBT activists are outraged, even though already-united same-sex couples are still entitled to full spousal benefits and protection from workplace discrimination. They’re simply not allowed to perform their marriage ceremony in the city of Hong Kong.
According to a recent poll by the University of Hong Kong, over half the people living in Hong Kong supported the legalization of same-sex marriage. So Judge Ka-ming is standing against much of the city in his ruling, and much of the world as well.
Same-sex marriage is now recognized in Taiwan, a neighbor of Hong Kong, although other Asian countries are stronger in resisting the tide of the LGBT movement.
While individuals who identify as homosexual are protected from discrimination in most areas of Asia, most Asian countries and cities don’t yet perform same-sex unions within their boundaries.
It may not take long before other nations follow Taiwan’s example, however, Judge Ka-ming’s ruling offers a different precedent for other Asian regions to pursue.
Judge Ka-ming’s decision is a victory for marriage and family values, but it’s important to take his presence on the court with a grain of salt. It’s sobering to remember that the same judge has refused lawsuits from the church in Hong Kong.
The Ka-ming court operates on a strictly legal precedent without respect for religion, which is critical in some issues.
Christians in Hong Kong have begun to suspect that Judge Ka-ming’s decisions could easily lead to discrimination against Christian groups in Hong Kong as well.
After all, this decision on marriage comes on the heels of governmental crackdowns on human rights throughout Hong Kong.
Democracy in the city has been on shaky ground over the last several months, with protests and arrests occurring weekly, sometimes daily.
Please pray for the political and social climate in Hong Kong: may the governing authorities have the wisdom to discern the right decisions in issues of moral importance, and may our brothers and sisters in Christ be protected in their stand for righteousness.