Activists call for gay marriage in China

The families of more than 100 gay people in China have sent an open letter to the country’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, calling for same sex marriage legislation.

The families, in Guangzhou, in Guangdong Province, signed the letter after officials refused to register the gay family members’ marriages. A supporting statement by prominent sociologist Li Yinhe was included with the letter.

Li Yinhe has made previous calls for the recognition of gay marriage in China and has written a number of books about aspects of sexuality in the country.

Gay student Liang Wenhu told Chinese newspaper The Global Times:

“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.”

A second gay student, from Beijing, added:

“I was under huge family pressure and thought ‘I’ll 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.”

Zhu Lieyu, a Guangzhou lawyer, said China is a conservative culture.

“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.”

Photo by Ludovic Bertron via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence

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