Communist Party loyalists in Hong Kong have warned that the presence of foreigners on the city’s Court of Final Appeal will lead to Western-style compulsory sexual deviance and widespread unnatural vices. And sure enough, the judges have started to push this haven of traditional Chinese righteousness and purity down the slippery slope to the alien, evil degeneracy that is the 21st Century.
Specifically, they have ordered the Immigration Department to issue a spouse’s visa to a lesbian expatriate’s partner. In some societies and cultures – typically those that are backward and ruled by ignorance or tyrants – this would be shocking and perverse. On the other hand, it would be a big yawn in many parts of the world, notably those that host international financial hubs and consider themselves modern and free.
A long list of classy international-financial-hub denizens applaud the Hong Kong court’s decision. The Hong Kong government usually fawns over these banks and law firms, presumably because officials find them more appreciative (and dare one say cooler and more deserving) than Beijing’s stroppy and entitled emissaries. And it usually gloats – sickeningly – over a reported boost to competitiveness. But on this occasion, the leaders of Asia’s World City are stony, purse-lipped and not amused. Indeed, having lost this thing twice in court now, they are mightily pissed.
The official line is that Hong Kong’s delicate people cannot handle homo-stuff and will collapse in seizures if it is mentioned, as Victorians did at the sight of piano legs. Or at least, they are deeply divided on the matter. (Cue recent poll.) One explanation is that Christian fundamentalism (a distinctly Western contribution to backwardness and ignorance) has top local bureaucrats in its grip.
We can also consider the influence of Beijing. The Liaison Office might imagine that hostility to gay marriage is a vote-winner for tragic loyalist-puppets like lawmaker Holden Chow. On a more strategic level, the Communist Party probably does not want social reforms in Hong Kong to encourage movements of any sort on the Mainland.
Whatever the reason, our officials must grit their teeth. Torn as they are between uppity liberal Anglo financiers, local Biblical-literalist morons and the Leninist dictatorship up the road, they can’t argue with the courts, because they keep insisting everyone else mustn’t.
So all that’s left is some silent, seething micro-aggression. Imagine a whiny, just-chastised child stamping his feet and insisting he is still in the right – so there! – as you read the government statement’s defensive final paragraph.