Landmark Hong Kong ruling gives rights to LGBT expats, putting pressure on other Asian countries
For financial firms in Japan, the Hong Kong decision could make it tougher to hire expatriates
Hong Kong — A landmark Hong Kong court ruling granting visas to spouses of gay expatriate workers will help fuel lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups pressuring Singapore and Japan to change their policies as the global financial hubs vie for business and talent. The top court’s decision puts Asia’s premier financial hub at the forefront of the nascent movement for gay rights in Asia, where only Taiwan is in the process of recognising same-sex marriage. Law firms and banks — including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings — cheered the ruling after long arguing that discrimination against gay and lesbian workers hindered their recruiting. "Hong Kong now has a clear edge over our competitors," said Raymond Chan, the city’s only openly gay lawmaker, who plans to formally call for a same-sex marriage debate in the legislature next week. "The business community recognises the importance of attracting and retaining talent in the competitive global market."