Father of gay child calls for legalizing homosexual marriage in China

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-1 23:48:01

The father of a gay man from Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province has sent a letter to 1,000 national legislators and political advisors calling for discussion of the legalization of homosexual marriage during the upcoming two sessions.

61-year-old Lin Xianzhi hopes that his proposals could help secure equal rights for homosexual couples including medical care, inheritance and property purchases.

Lin's son, Xiaotao, came out of the closet in 2011. Xiaotao told the Global Times that his father gradually went from a mindset of denial to one of acceptance, and he suggested Lin help others do the same. Lin joined the advocacy group Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) China as a volunteer, and developed his plan.

"They are no different than straight couples, and it is unfair for them not to be able to get married," Lin told the Global Times, adding that it is a common issue faced by over 50 million families in China.

Li Yinhe, a sociologist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has long been an advocate of legalizing gay marriage. "According to research by my group, although homosexuals in China face less social pressure than their counterparts in many other countries, there are still obstructions. Lin's move should be supported," Li told the Global Times.

Ah Qiang, founder of PFLAG China, told the Global Times that Lin's move could bring more gay parents to the realization that they should not discriminate or try to convert their children, but instead should call for their equal rights.

It is surprising to see more fathers speaking out in such a measured, calm way, said Ah Qiang, adding that they have received a response to Lin's call from a legislator in Chongqing.

However, the topic has long been subject to legal controversy. It is very unlikely it will be introduced as national legislation in the short term, as it requires wide consensus among legislators, said Liu Guofu, a law professor with the Beijing Institute of Technology.

The next step would be massive modifications to the legal system, including civil laws, adoption laws and criminal laws, he said.

Liu added that although legalizing homosexual marriage could solve their problems, it will also cause other problems and ethical issues, which will require additional research.

Posted in: Society

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