Banking giants offer lending hand in Hong Kong gay court battle

Twelve international financial institutions are trying to intervene on behalf of a British lesbian couple in Hong Kong.

The businesses say they have evidence in support of the couple that they would like to submit to the city’s Court of Appeals. Law firm Davis Polk, representing the companies, said their clients have intervened “to assist the court by giving a more rounded picture of the issues. They all seek to attract and hire top talent from around the world in line with their diversity policies,” the statement added.

The case centers on a woman known as QT, who moved to Hong Kong in 2011 after entering into a civil partnership in the U.K. with a woman known as SS. When SS moved to Hong Kong for work, QT could not apply for a dependent visa and was given a visitor visa instead, which prohibits working. QT lost a legal challenge in March last year but hopes that the intervention of major employers in Hong Kong will help sway the government.

Hong Kong does not recognize same sex marriage and only decriminalized homosexuality in 1991.