1. I am legally married in Hong Kong. If later my spouse changes sex, is my marriage still valid?
Every marriage must be the union of one man and one woman. A person having received a full sex re-assignment surgery is to be treated as being of the sex re-assigned after the surgery. A marriage is void on the ground of “the parties not being respectively male and female”, and such gender should be the gender that has been certified by an appropriate medical authority to have changed as a result of sex reassignment medical treatment.
In the Court of Final Appeal decision of Q & Tse Henry Edward v Commissioner of Registration, it was held that the underlying policy of the Commissioner of Registration requiring a full sex reassignment surgery (which involves a highly invasive surgery to remove the uterus and ovaries and construct an artificial penis) before amending the gender markers on their HKID cards, was unconstitutional. In other words, the completion of full sex reassignment surgery is not a necessary condition for amending the gender markers on transgender persons’ HKID cards. The appellants in that case have been medically certified that additional surgical procedures are not needed, the surgery carries certain post-operative risks and possible complications, and is medically unnecessary for many transgender persons, including the appellants.
Therefore, if your spouse changes sex later in the marriage (having been medically
certified and recognised as the changed gender), he/she would be recognised as persons of their re-assigned sex and the marriage would be void by reasons of not being heterosexual, as same-sex marriage is not legalised in Hong Kong.