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Hong Kong abolishes four laws that criminalise homosexual acts

The laws initially made gay men criminally liable for acts that are legal for heterosexuals

2019-05-31

Words: Steve Brown

Hong Kong has abolished four laws that criminalise homosexual acts.

The LGBTQ community in Hong Kong are celebrating a long-awaited legal victory after the High Court ruled to abolish or revise seven offences which criminalised sex between men, the South China Morning Post reported.

On Thursday (May 30), four criminal offences were ruled unconstitutional and repealed with immediate effect and the court also revised its interpretations of three offences in favour of LGBTQ activist Yeung Chu-wing.

The seven offences – which were all part of the Crimes Ordinance – made gay men criminally liable for acts that are legal for heterosexuals and, in some cases, lesbians.

Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung abolished the crimes of ‘procuring others to commit homosexual buggery’ and ‘gross indecency with or by a man under 16’.

He also overturned ‘gross indecency by a man with a man otherwise than in private’ and ‘procuring gross indecency by a man with a man’.

The judge also ruled to change the interpretation of three other crimes and said they must apply to women as well as men.

These offences include ‘homosexual buggery with or by a man under 16’, ‘gross indecency by a man with a male mentally incapacitated person’ and ‘permitting a young person to resort to or be on a premises or vessel for intercourse, prostitution, buggery or homosexual acts’.