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LGBTI activists renew calls for equal marriage in China

LGBTI activists renew calls for equal marriage in China

China's National People's Congress meets in 2015 (Photo: Wikipedia)

LGBTI activists in China are urging the government to change its civil code and recognize same-sex marriage.

The National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (NPC) is taking public consultation on Civil Code changes until 3 November.

Activist Sun Wenlin encouraged people to propose recognizing same-sex unions on the NPC’s website.

His post on popular social media, We Chat, had been viewed more than 100,000 times by Tuesday (3 October). It provides details of how to submit the suggested revisions.

Sun also encouraged netizens to propose anti-discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI people.

China legalized gay sex in 1997 and removed it from the list of mental illnesses in 2001. But, in a conservative and family-orientated society, many LGBTI Chinese live in the closet.

In 2015, Sun famously took the government to court for denying his application to marry his boyfriend.

A court ruled against him in 2016, saying only ‘one man and one woman’ could register.

Neighboring Taiwan, which China considers a ‘renegade province’, ruled last year that denying marriage to same sex couples was unconstitutional.

The country will next month, however, hold referenda on whether to alter its Civil Code or enact separate legislation for same-sex unions.

LGBTI Censorship in China

LGBTI content is banned on film and TV in China. Although some films, such as Seek McCartney, manage to jump censors.

What’s more, in June last year, the government also banned gay content from appearing on the internet, labeling it abnormal.

Last week, a court in Beijing ruled the country’s ban on online LGBTI content was lawful.

Fan Chunlin had challenged China Netcasting Service Association (CNSA)’s June 2017 decision to label homosexuality ‘abnormal sexual behavior’ and ban it from China’s internet.

Civil challenges against China’s powerful government are rare. Fan told Gay Star News he wanted to do his part for the LGBTI community in filing the case.

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