Prism Award

Angus Leung and Scott Adams

Hong Kong power couple, Angus Leung and Scott Adams made history in June 2019 by winning a landmark court case against the government for spousal rights and equality, taking a step towards LGBT rights in Hong Kong.

Angus is a civil servant in Hong Kong and Scott is a commercial pilot. They got engaged in 2013 and registered for marriage in New Zealand in 2014, followed by a celebration in Iceland with family and friends.

In 2015, Angus decided to take the government to court after the city’s secretary for civil service refused to recognize his marriage and grant spousal benefits, such as medical and dental benefits to his husband Scott. Angus also challenged the Inland Revenue Department, which did not allow the couple to submit a joint tax assessment. The judicial review was filed and this was the start of a 4-year legal battle.

It took another year before they went to the Court of First Instance where they won the spousal benefits but lost in joint tax assessment. In 2017 they tried again by going to the Court of Appeal but were unsuccessful and lost both of their claims.

Angus was quoted, “Our appeal is nothing out of the ordinary. We only strive for equal treatment. We are fighting for a very basic right to form a family.” Scott noted, “I think it is important to make change.”

To further their fight for equality, they decided that they need to go all the way to the Court of Final Appeal to state their case. After much deliberation, Hong Kong’s top court unanimously ruled in their favor in June 2019. This was a huge step towards equal rights for the city’s LGBT community and for the couple who slowly became Hong Kong’s newest LGBT activists during the ordeal.

The couple is excited to see the changing social perception in the Hong Kong society in the past few years, the increase of the number of LGBTI people being proud of who they are, coming out and the rise of acceptance of the entire society on the issue. However, there is still a lot of work to be done before social stigma is fully removed.

In a recent interview, Angus indicated, “Be proud of yourself. Love wins. Love will win again and again.”

Angus Leung and Scott Adams are our warriors. By fighting for their rights, they also fought on behalf of the LGBTI community. Our path for basic equality in Hong Kong has started but we still have a long journey ahead.

Our festival directors unanimously agreed that Angus and Scott deserve this year’s Prism Award. Congratulations guys!

- Prism Award sponsored by Citibank