Original meaning and same-sex marriage in Hong Kong

The turn to history, tradition, and the past more generally as a way to argue against marriage equality is nothing new. In this paper, I discuss the most recent manifestation of this tendency in Hong Kong in light ofMK v. HKSAR (2019), the latest case in the local litigation over same-sex unions. In MK, the court bases its ruling against same-sex unions by considering the original meaning of the right to marry in Article 37 of the Basic Law. I will explain how the court’s turn to original meaning underpins its reasoning on lex specialis. I will conclude by positing an alternative approach to the interpretation of Article 37 in light of recent common law precedent cases.