China’s Hunan province has rejected a gay rights activist’s application to register his group as a charity organization, citing homosexuality was ‘against spiritual civilization construction’ and ‘in violation of morals’.
The Hunan Provincial Civil Affairs Department’s written reply, dated Nov 29, was ‘the first to spell out such a stance in an official document’, according to Xiang Yuhan.
‘It is discrimination against homosexuality,’ he said.
This came despite a pledge from the ruling Community Party to stimulate the vitality of social organizations.
Beijing normally adopts a ‘don’t tell, don’t ask’ attitude when it comes to LGBTI issues, but it is understood to be studying on a national level where to allow gay rights group to register.
Come January, other state could follow Hunan’s practice, Xiang tells Gay Star News, as he prepares his next moves.
Xiang currently runs a news website called ‘Hunan with Love’. He wants to register his group Changsha Comrades Center to combat prejudice and spread understanding in society.
‘If we can civilly register, it means first we will qualify for a legal document for charity organizations,’ he said. ‘There’ll also be tax exemptions and we’ll enjoy convenience in all our activities.’
However, the same provincial government that detained Xiang in an IDAHO march earlier this year turned him down outright.
‘Marriage must be between a man and a woman and the Marriage Law does not recognize homosexual relations,’ the official rejection reads. ‘Therefore there is no legal basis for setting up a social organization for homosexuals.’
‘Social organizations must respect the constitution, the law, regulations and policies and may not violate social morals and customs, and homosexuality contradicts our country’s traditional culture and spiritual civilization construction so a group cannot be set up.’
Homosexuality has been recorded in historical records since ancient times and since, so there is nothing un-Chinese about it, Xiang counters.
He also points out there is nowhere in the constitution, laws or regulations which says homosexuality is against social morals or customs. As Changsha Comrades Center is only looking to do charity activities, whether the laws allow same-sex marriage is indeed largely irrelevant.