Gay activists want law to legalise gay marriage in China

PTI Beijing | Updated on March 12, 2018

Families of over 100 gay people in culturally-conservative China have written to law-makers urging them to bring about a legislation to permit same-sex marriage.

In response to the denial of registration of their marriages, families of over 100 homosexual people in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province signed an open letter to deputies of the National People’s Congress, asking them to submit proposals on the legislation of same-sex marriage, state-run Global Times reported.

A proposal supporting same-sex marriage from Li Yinhe, China’s most prominent sexologist, was also enclosed with the open letter. Li has been calling for same-sex legislation for years, but her ideas have never been reflected in the NPC’s discussions.

“I hope they reply, even just a few. The best outcome would be to see real proposals at next week’s NPC, but in light of the limited time, I hope this action will at least draw more public attention and discussion regarding gay rights,” Liang Wenhu, a gay student told the Global Times.

A number of gay couples in China share a household, but they face difficulties with many issues including medical treatment, property and insurance management, and even child adoption without the legal protection and recognition enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

Zhu Lieyu, a Guangzhou-based lawyer and an NPC deputy, said, “Same-sex marriage is still a taboo in our traditional culture, and the social relationships of the couple and their families would need readjustment once they’re married.”

Intensive research and pilot programmes, such as family registration for same-sex partners, will be good preparation for formal legislation, he said.

College students in China have become a powerful force in the fight for gay rights. Many young people are no longer afraid of coming out of the closet and are working to push for the legal progress.

“I was under huge family pressure and thought ‘I’l just marry a girl I don’t hate.’ But now, I’m fighting for my rights as I don’t want to hurt an innocent girl,” a student from Beijing surnamed Wei told the daily.

Published on March 01, 2013

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