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Weibo users voice support to Chinese gay couple’s bid to hold wedding ceremony

On the International Day against Homophobia on Tuesday (Beijing time), a Chinese gay couple is going to hold their wedding ceremony in Changsha, the capital of South China’s Hunan province, as part of their efforts to promote same-sex marriage legalization in China.

The gay couple, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, vowed last month to continue fighting for their marriage right after a local court ruled against them in a lawsuit filed against the civil affairs office of Furong District of Changsha, which had denied their marriage registration on June 23, 2015. It is thought to be the first-ever legal case on same sex marriage in China.  

Sun Wenlin (left) and Hu Mingliang Photo: Sun Wenlin's WeChat Moment

Sun has also quit his job and started an organization in Changsha to promote LGBT rights in China.

“The goal is to promote legalization of same-sex marriage in China, and the principle is the freedom of marriage and equality of men and women,” Sun said.

The organization plans to conduct a series of programs to realize their goal. The first program will involve holding 100 wedding ceremonies for 100 Chinese same-sex couples, for which Sun and Hu will take the lead on Tuesday.  

“Our dream is to get married, like all the other hetero couples who can hold wedding ceremonies fairly and squarely. We want all the 100 same-sex couples to have their fair and square wedding ceremonies,” Sun said through his WeChat Moment on May 1, a message sharing platform owned by Tencent. “I also want to figure out a localized same-sex marriage culture for the LGBTs in China through this program,” he said.

The wedding ceremony on Tuesday will be held in a “worldly” way instead of “sacred” way, Sun said, because he and his boyfriend are both atheists.

According to Sun, the program will be divided into 10 stages, with 10 wedding ceremonies at each stage. While the program encourages couples to cover part of the expenses on their own, it is also trying to raise funds through crowdfunding. However, according to Sun, to find a public foundation to support such a program is not that easy.

Yet, Sun’s action is backed up by individuals who are willing to donate money for their program. On Sina Weibo, the largest social media in China, users are also showing their support to Sun.

“Best wishes for you guys!” said @ LIZ哦.

“Congratulations! May your love last forever,” said @Tanchzane.

“What can I do to show my gratitude and support to all the efforts you have made?” said @驸马的太子.

Sun’s decision to hold 100 wedding ceremonies for 100 Chinese same-sex couples came amid a series of LGBT movements in recent years in China. Although some ended up with no result, or even failure, it shows not only the rising voices of the LGBT group but also an improvement in legal transparency in China, some experts say.

Landmark LGBT actions in China include: gay rights activists suing a counseling center which offered to cure homosexuality through “conversion therapy” in 2014; Fan Popo, an LGBT filmmaker, filing lawsuit against China’s top censor, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) in September 2015, demanding explanation for pulling down his film, Mama Rainbow, from mainstream video websites; a Chinese lesbian challenging the Ministry of Education over wrong descriptions of homosexuality in textbooks in November 2015; and a Chinese trans man suing his employer who had fired him for wearing men’s clothing in March 2016.

Such actions were taken as China began to accept litigation through a registration system since last May, which is intended to guarantee litigants’ rights and promote transparency.

"Although we know that the problem cannot be solved through only one case, it is indeed a huge progress that the hearing process was open to the public and the society," said Shi Wenlong, Sun’s lawyer, in an earlier interview with Sino-US.com.

"Such kind of efforts made by LGBT community in China, irrespective of specific results, will definitely help to promote the right of this group in China," Li Yinhe, China’s renowned female sociologist and sexologist, said in an earlier interview with Sino-US.com.”


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