Beijing’s ‘happy couples’ launch campaign for same-sex marriages
Posted on March 2, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
With her bouquet of roses and fluffy white dress, Han Xincheng looked the epitome of the glamorous modern Chinese bride. But, although her parents had been pressing her to marry, the photographs were not what they might have expected: she is gazing adoringly at another woman, surrounded by onlookers.
The series of “wedding pictures” staged by lesbians and gay men in the heart of Beijing might not raise eyebrows any longer in most western countries, but they are evidence that attitudes are finally changing in a country where gay sex was illegal until 1997 and homosexuality classified as a mental illness until four years later.
There is still no legal protection against discrimination in China and few role models: no mainstream figures are openly gay. Yet now parts of China’s gay population are calling for the right to wed – and meeting with some sympathy.
“Many reactions were quite positive and some people even came up to give us their blessing,” said Han, though she acknowledges that overall the public reaction was negative.
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