The World reports on the sham marriages that homosexuals in China increasingly enter into in order to avoid the stigma of being unmarried and childless by a certain age. Listen to the report here:
HAYES ZHOU: No matter who you are, you’re a boy or a girl, to a certain age you have to marry.
MARCUS: That’s 47-year-old Hayes Zhou. He ultimately bowed to the pressure and got married. Now he’s divorced, and openly dates men. Another man, a 33-year-old Army officer who didn’t want me to use his name, says he’s felt the pressure too.
ANONYMOUS ARMY OFFICER: People, they ask me, have you married? Why you still not married?
MARCUS: So two years ago he did what a lot of gay men in China are doing. He entered a sham marriage with a lesbian.
OFFICER: I become normal. And when we talk with others, I do not feel ashamed.
MARCUS: There are no firm data on this, but observers say a large percentage of gay men are entering into sham marriages. Confucian expert Dan Bell says it’s understandable.
BELL: If you live within a culture where providing for the material and emotional well being of one’s parents is regarded as a very important value, as opposed to the pursuit of personal happiness over and above all other considerations, then it won’t necessarily be regarded as a kind of sham marriage the same as it might in the west.