Reveal of Chinese celebrity’s wedding photos ignites heated debate on same-sex marriage in the Chinese mainland

By Chen Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/1 20:23:41

Respective bases on understanding, online information, and gay rights movements around the world are all channels for youth to know more about the LGBT community. Photos: VCG

On Monday, photos of the wedding of renowned Chinese choreographer and dancer Yang Liping's student Xiao Han, better known as Shui Yue, and her partner topped the trending list on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, once again igniting heated discussion about the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Chinese mainland.

The photos were posted by a blogger shortly after midnight Monday morning. As of Monday afternoon, the hashtag for the wedding ceremony had earned 410 million views, with many Chinese netizens sending their congratulations to the couple. 

Shortly after the photos were posted, Shui posted a message on her Sina Weibo account to express her happiness for her partner and show gratitude for the many well wishes she has received from her family and netizens. 

"We are lucky and happy. Thank you everyone for sending us so many blessings... We will lead our lives with courage and determination," she wrote along with additional photos from the wedding, the location and time of which has yet to be revealed. 

The photos show Shui and her wife, dressed in beautiful white wedding dresses, kissing each other, as well as the fathers of the two brides hugging each other with huge smiles on their faces. 

Many Chinese netizens expressed their admiration of the couple's taste in clothing and commented that they were touched by the support they seemed to have received from their parents. 

"I like what they are wearing. They are not like some lesbians who want to express their identity by choosing the stereotypical short hair and black suit," one Chinese netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.

"The most touching moment at the wedding was the two fathers hugging. They are not like many other traditional Chinese parents who would object to them being together, but support them and are there to witness the couple's happy moment," another Chinese netizen commented. 

However, some netizens said they felt it was not proper to popularize the photos as they felt that it will distort young people values concerning gender identity.

The legalization of same-sex marriage has long been a controversial issue in China. According to reports, the legislative affairs commission of China's top legislative body this year acknowledged that it had been advised to include the legalization of same-sex marriage in the civil code when it solicited public opinions for the draft civil code from October 31 to November 29 of 2019. 

However, the Civil Code at the third session of the 13th National People's Congress in May, which will take effect on January 1, 2021, did not include any laws concerning same-sex marriage. 

"The basic reason that the suggestion failed to be accepted is due to China's traditional values on gender and marriage. Many Chinese, especially older generations, think same-sex marriage is blasphemous and violates ethics and morality," Lü Xiaoquan, a lawyer at the Beijing-based Qianqian Law Firm, told the Global Times. 

But he said the acknowledgement of the suggestion from China's top legislative body reflects that both citizens and officials have started to pay more attention to the issue, which is a big step forward. 

He Meili, a 51-year-old lesbian working at a non-profit LGBTQ organization in Beijing and who has engaged in related work for more than five years, told the Global Times that she is confident  that same-sex marriage will one day be legalized in the Chinese mainland. 

"I was very surprised and happy to see that so many people [about 190,000 people] participated in the online suggestion about the legalization of same-sex marriage. I think LGBTQ organizations in the mainland could follow in the footsteps of groups on the island of Taiwan by lobbying the people. I will wait for the day when the mainland passes the suggestion," she noted.


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