18 April 2016
The Changsha Furong District People’s Court in China has ruled against gay marriage in the first case ever to be heard in China on the issue of same-sex marriages.
The Court stated: “The relevant regulations and law clearly stated the subject of marriage refers to a man and a woman who meet the legal conditions of marriage.
Sun Wenlin (the plaintiff) and Hu Mingliang are both men; therefore their application doesn’t comply with the marriage regulations and law.
The grounds of Sun Wenlin’s and Hu Mingliang’s appeal cannot be established. In summary, the court dismissed their litigation requests according to the law.”
Despite this loss, members of the LGBT community in China are excited as this is the first time the issue of gay rights and same-sex marriage is heard fairly in the country, indicating a possibility of changing attitudes in China.
Though homosexuality stopped being officially considered a mental illness in the country in 2001, social stigma and homophobia is still strong.
In May, media representations of gays and lesbians were banned. However, in 2014, Courts in China held that gay conversion treatments to “fix” homosexuality as illegal.
The bigger significance of this case is that it brings awareness to the unrecognized community of lesbian, gay and transgender people in China, and really all over the world. People are talking and learning about what it means to be homosexual, and that matters the most.