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Two couples try to register gay marriages in Beijing

Volunteers from Beijing LGBT Centre tried to register marriages on Valentine’s Day
Wei Jiangang (left) and Zhang Jianing celebrate 'marriage'

Two same-sex couples tried to register marriages in Beijing on Tuesday to make a statement about LGBT rights in China. They tried to marry at a registration office but were told 'homosexual marriage is not legally recognized in China'.

The two couples are not actually in relationships, one of the girls is not even gay, but the volunteers from Beijing LGBT Centre wanted to make a statement. The centre’s executive director Guo Ziyang told Gay Star News: ‘We wanted this action to take place as a means to tell the government and tell the public: gays and lesbians want, and should have, the right to marry.’

Guo said he believes gay marriage will come to China, but not for another 10 or 20 years, or even longer, because of the ‘conservative, traditional mind set in China, as well as the political environment’.

Zhang Yunyi, one half of the female ‘couple’ told the Global Times: ‘I thought we'd be driven out, but to my surprise, the office employees were very nice when they heard we wanted gay marriage. The office employees offered us their blessings, and told us to wait until changes were made to the marriage law.’

When the couples were told they couldn’t get married at the registration office, they performed a ceremony outside themselves. A newly married straight couple - 3,900 couples married across Beijing on Valentine’s Day accord to the Global Times - acted as ‘witnesses’ to the stunt wedding.

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