China protest for mariage
February 15, 2007
China?s gays hold Valentine?s Day protest for same-sex marriage
Gays and lesbians in Beijing used Valentine?s Day to make the country?s first public appeal for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Around half a dozen protesters handed out flyers wrapped around red carnations during a busy lunch hour in the capital?s central business district calling for the public support of same-sex unions.
?Love has no boundaries; it is nothing to do with gender,? the flyers read. ?We are homosexuals. We also want a life together with our loved one…please support all kinds of partnerships and all kinds of love. Please support same-sex marriage.?
Such unauthorized protests are rare in China. In 2005 a gay and lesbian culture festival was broken up by the police on the grounds the organizers had not sought permission to hold the event.
?We were concerned about security...our action can be considered kind of political,? said Xian, one of the lesbian protesters. Their protest, which lasted about 20 minutes, went ahead undisturbed.
Of those who took flowers, many said they were behind the protesters. ?I think it's only fair; it's everybody's right to get married,? said Liu Peng, a 21-year-old student of banking. ?I support them. I think it's great."
"I don?t know when China will have gay marriage,? he added. ?Not now, but in the future I think China will have gay marriage, but I can't say when, maybe far in the future." Liu said he was not gay.
But not everyone supported the protesters. Christina Wang, a 31-year-old headhunter, who accepted a flower, said she opposed same-sex marriage because of her religion. ?I am a Christian and I don't think it's right,? Wang, who is married, said. ?I don't think it's healthy to be gay."
The protest comes a few weeks before the annual meeting of China?s parliament. Gays and lesbians had hoped that renowned sexologist, Li Yinhe, who has submitted three proposals?all rejected?to legalize same-sex marriage to parliament would so again.
But in a recent blog entry, Li wrote she was retiring from campaigning for sexual rights. ?Gay marriage is not something that our country can accept at this stage of its cultural development,? wrote Li. (Dinah Gardner, The Advocate)