Lesbian couple attempt to wed

By Yin Yeping Source:Global Times Published: 2013-2-25 23:33:01

The lesbian couple, who tried to apply to register to marry, kiss at the Dongcheng district civil affairs bureau on Monday. Photo: Li Hao/GT
The lesbian couple, who tried to apply to register to marry, kiss at the Dongcheng district civil affairs bureau on Monday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A lesbian couple was rejected after trying to register to marry at the marriage registration office in Dongcheng district civil affairs bureau Monday morning.

The attempt to marry is in support of  a recent statement from Li Yinhe, one of China's most prominent sexologists, who said she wishes to find deputies from the National People's Congress (NPC) to deliver her proposal for legislation to legalize gay marriage at China's annual legislative meeting, known as the two sessions, in March.

The couple, Ma Yuyu and Elsie, volunteers from Beijing LGBT Center who have known each other for six months, said that although they knew their application would be rejected, they wanted to express their love as well as to stress the need for gay marriage in China.

At 10 am Monday morning, the registrar at Dongcheng district civil affairs bureau was stunned after the couple said they wanted to register to marry.

"Gay marriage is not legal," he said, noting that they should ask the Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau for details about the law.

"Our purpose is to capture the attention of NPC deputies to find those who are willing to deliver a proposal to legalize gay marriage in the two sessions in March this year," Ma said.

Ma, 27, said she is happy to do this on behalf of the gay community.

"We know our attempt will fail, but we still want to take this chance to let our voices be heard," she said.

Pu Cunxin, a famous Chinese actor and charity activist who shot many public service advertisements on AIDS prevention, who was cycling near the office, said he was happy to support the couple. He autographed their homemade marriage certificate and posed for photos.

"Everyone has the freedom to choose his or her own life, but it will take time for the whole of society to fully accept gay marriage," said Pu.

Li said that she has delivered her gay marriage proposal to one NPC deputy.

"The deputy is willing to consider this," said Li, but she would not reveal the name of the deputy.

The proposal was originally brought up during the discussion of an amendment to the Chinese Marriage Law in 2000, but nothing happened due to societal and government bias, said Li.

"It's about time to put the legislation about gay marriage on the government's  agenda after 24 countries have passed this law," Li said, "the meaning is not just about marriage itself but fighting for more social recognition."

A gay couple made headlines last month when they held a mock wedding ceremony streamed live online, which was interrupted by the son of one of the men. A retired history teacher known as Dabao, and water delivery man Xiaobao have written online of their happiness after they found each other.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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