Leading Chinese scholar seeking support for gay marriage bill again

A renowned sociologist in China has started rallying support among lawmakers for a same-sex marriage bill

Leading Chinese scholar seeking support for gay marriage bill again
04 March 2012

Despite previous failures, a leading pro-gay sociologist in China has started rallying supporters for a same-sex marriage bill for the fourth time.

Li Yinhe, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, is now asking for backing from some 3000 members of the National People’s Congress, the country’s parliament, who are having their annual meetings in Beijing.

Li argued yesterday (March 3) in a blog entry that homosexuality is not against the Chinese law, and gays’ desire to get married does not contravene their rights as citizens.

Trying to show officials the benefits, she said Beijing can use the approval of same-sex marriage as a proof to the world its effort in protecting human rights, ‘gaining the upper hand’ against the United States, which has just allowed gays to serve openly in the army.

Unlike in Catholic countries, she argued homosexuality has never been really frowned upon in traditional Chinese culture, making it easier to protect the gay community.

From a practical point of view, Li also said the ratio of men involved in gay sex and contracted with HIV/AIDS is over 5% and rapidly rising. She believes a nod to same-sex marriage will allow quite a number of gays to establish stable relationships.

The Chinese government has recently released a plan to fight HIV/AIDS. It aims to provide condoms in 95% of hotels and ‘public places’ and reduce the rate of new infection by 25% by 2015, GSN reported earlier.

Li suggested same-sex marriage will also be a way to prevent gay men from being forced to marry women amid pressues, preventing countless tragedies.

According to a leading expert, approximately 16 million women in China are married to gay men.

With as many as 39 million to 52 million gays and lesbians in China, Li believes same-sex marriage will help lessen population pressure facing the country.

But gays in Greater China, or even Li herself, are cautious about the bill’s prospects.

‘I doubt very much whether a country that values morality so much will be so open in this respect,’ netizen ‘chinoboy' wrote in a Taiwanese gay forum. ‘But there has got to be a start for everything.’

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