Hong Kong's top court ruled Tuesday in favor of recognizing same-sex partnerships, including civil unions, but stopped short of granting full marriage rights in a partial win for the city's LGBTQ community.

Over the past decade, LGBTQ activists in the former British colony have won piecemeal victories in court, striking down discriminatory government policies on visas, taxes and housing benefits.

But the case brought by jailed pro-democracy activist Jimmy Sham is the first time Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal has directly addressed the issue of same-sex marriage.