Hong Kong: A Hong Kong transsexual was preparing Wednesday for a High Court battle for the right to marry a man after having a sex change operation to become a woman.
The transsexual, who is in her 20s and has asked to remain anonymous, has been told she cannot marry her boyfriend because Hong Kong law only recognises marriages between a couple born as male and female.
She has now won leave for a judicial review of the ruling by the Registrar of Marriages in a landmark hearing.
Marriages of transsexuals to people of their original gender are possible in Japan, South Korea, Singapore and parts of mainland China as well as countries in Europe.
However, in Hong Kong, transsexuals can change their identity cards and school certificates to their new sex, but they do not have the right to marry someone of their birth gender.
The transsexual`s attorney, Michael Vidler, said his client had undergone a sex change within the past five years after years of gender therapy.
He told Wednesday`s South China Morning Post that she was now "pleased to be a woman" and was in a stable relationship with her boyfriend.
The registrar`s decision had "disregarded the gender therapy, ignored the reassignment surgery and deprived transsexuals of their human rights", Vidler told the newspaper.
A hearing was expected to take place in the next fortnight to set a date for a full hearing into the case.
Despite its image as a modern, cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong is a largely traditional and conservative society where gay groups often complain of intolerance and discrimination.