Push for Marriage Equality at NPC

Global Times’ Liu Sha reports on efforts to push for marriage equality at China’s annual National People’s Congress, which CASS sociologist Li Yinhe describes as the only available avenue for gay rights activists.

She has been working on legalizing same-sex marriage and has sent letters to NPC deputies every year since 2003, but was either informed that those proposals could not be sent to the legislature because deputies could not get the required 30 signatures from other delegates, or she simply received no response.

“Even if the proposal gets sent to the NPC, it might be buried under a pile of proposals from other deputies,” Li Yinhe said.

[… S]kepticism remains, even among gay couples. “If gay marriage was one day allowed in China, I wouldn’t dare get married with my lover here, because I could not predict how people would look at me and I wouldn’t be sure whether my future career would be affected by this disclosure,” college student Zhou Lü, who is planning to get married in the UK, told the Global Times, adding that regardless of policies or influences from the West, he is skeptical China’s traditional culture will ever really accept gay people.

Another initiative to raise the issue at the NPC came in a petition from almost 200 parents of gays and lesbians organized by a Guangzhou-based rights group. From Kaijing Xiao at ABC News:

In the open letter, the parents wrote: “Some of our children have been with their same-sex partners for almost 10 years; they care for and love each other deeply, but they are unable to legally authorize medical treatment for their partners when they are ill and in need of an operation. As the parents of homosexuals, we are often worried, because they cannot legally marry, and this impacts to various degrees their ability to adopt; authorize necessary medical treatment; inherit their partner’s assets, or even buy an apartment.”

[…] “We have followed the government’s one-child-policy,” Wang said in a phone interview. “My son doesn’t have any siblings. I don’t depend on the government to take care me when I’m old, so how can I trust the government would take care of my son when he is old? He wouldn’t have anyone to authorize medical treatment for him after I die.

“My child and many other gay kids are wonderful people,” she insisted. “They should have the right to get married and adopt children.”

See more on gay marriage in China via CDT.