A majority of more than 62,000 respondents to a Sina.com poll support allowing same-sex marriage under China’s Marriage Law, according to Tea Leaf Nation’s David Wertime:
The poll allows respondents four choices: “I support it, love does not require a gender difference” has received 50.1% of the vote thus far. “I oppose it, gay marriage violates social mores” has received 25.9%, with the rest saying they have no preference or cannot decide.
Although Sina can be fairly described as an ideologically neutral platform, Chinese Internet users as a whole tend to be younger, more educated, and thus likely more liberal than the population at large. But their opinions are likely predictive of social trends within China.
The impetus for the poll lies in yet another open letter written to China’s congress. On February 25, a group calling itself Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of China posted an unsigned blog entry addressed to the National People’s Congress, which is scheduled to convene in Beijing in early March.
On Monday, a lesbian couple in Beijing were snubbed when they tried to register their relationship with their district office, according to the South China Morning Post:
Mayu Yu, a 27-year old social worker, said a male official at the registry told her and her partner that they could not be registered because the law did not recognise a marriage between two women.
Yu said the official quickly retreated into a back room when they tried to discuss gay marriages with him.
“It’s worse than we thought as he could at least show some respect for us and explain to us what the legal obstacles are,” she said.
“It has once again revealed how little public support there is for gay marriages and how much work we need to do in the fight for such rights.”
The South China Morning Post also has more on the open letter sent to the National People’s Congress:
Calling themselves “comrade parents” [“comrade” is often used in Chinese these days as a slang for “homosexual”], they confessed anxieties and worries for their gay children, who under China’s current marriage law aren’t allowed to marry their partners, and therefore excluded form rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
“The fact that they can’t legally marry puts them in a difficult situation when they try to adopt children, sign for their partners’ operations, inherit assets from a deceased partner, or even buy a flat,” reads the letter.
The parents then criticised the current laws.
“Is our law trying encourage homosexuals to marry heterosexuals?” they said, “Won’t this produce bigger social problems?”
These parents, who come from different parts of China, published the letter through PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) China, a Guangzhou-based grass roots origination that promotes LGBT rights and helps gay parents.