Mainland China has approved its first gay and lesbian organisation, according to reports.

Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou has backed a group called Happy Together, which arranges lectures, excursions and events of interest to the gay community.

Its membership includes professors, teachers and students, China Daily reports.

Although homosexuality in China is no longer considered a mental illness, it is still taboo.

Recently sociologists have called for the country to support gay marriage arguing it would promote stable relationships and safe sex that could help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.