>> A victory for the LGBT community in Hong-Kong on Wednesday. A British lesbian won the right to live and work in the city with her partner ending a year's long legal battle. The woman known only as QT, was in the same sex civil partnership in Britain when her partner was offered a job in Hong-Kong.
But when she applied for spousal visa, her application was denied because she was in the same sex union. QT then sued immigration. When this unanimous judgement by the court of final appeal gives her the right to residence status and to work without needing a sponsorship visa. It also opens the door for other expats who want to move their same sex partners to Hong Kong.
QT's lawyer spoke outside the court house>> I have been asked by QT to say the following words on her behalf as she can't be here today. Although I cannot be with you in person today, that does not diminish the joy that I feel knowing that Hong Kong's highest court has upheld my right as a lesbian woman to be treated equally by the Hong Kong government, and knowing that I have in some small part help advance the rights of LGBTI people in Hong Kong.
>> Marriage in Hong Kong is defined as a union between a man and a woman but public opinion on the issue are shifting. Reuters Venus Wu was in the courthouse when the ruling was announced.>> The public is still divided on the issue of same sex marriage but a report by the University of Hong Kong says acceptance for same sex marriage is growing.
In 2013, only about 38% of the respondents support same sex marriage. But last year when they conducted the same survey again, over 50% said they would support same sex marriage.>> Honk Kong is a popular destination for expats like bankers and lawyers. In its 45-page judgement, the court said if immigration wants to attract top foreign talent, it's counterproductive to reject same-sex partners.
The case received a wave of support from more than 30 top global banks and law firms, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.