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60% in Hong Kong Back LGBT Protections

Monday, November 10th, 2014

titleA new survey in Hong Kong showed a high level of support for protections for the LGBT community.

Gay Star News reports:

The paper, published by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), comes two weeks after a three-month public consultation on the city’s anti-discrimination laws. ‘Our survey found that a majority of Hong Kong people hold generally favorable views of gays and lesbians, and a majority support enacting legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Only 20% of the public said that they disagree with such legislation,’ the report said.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 83 per cent, said parents should love their children regardless of their sexual orientation. In contrast, only 16 per cent of respondents said that their acceptance of an individual was affected by the individual’s sexual orientation and 28 per cent said gays and lesbians were immoral.

Of course, Hong Kong is one of the most liberal parts of China, having been under British rule until 1997. But still, it’s an encouraging sign.

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New Poll: Almost 90% of Chinese Accept Gays

Friday, September 5th, 2014

titleA new poll out of China shows that almost 90% of young people there accept gays and lesbians.

Gay Star News reports:

An overwhelming majority of Chinese young people are fine with gay people, according to a recent survey. About 87% of respondents said they accepted gay people, compared to 13% who said they did not understand homosexuality. The survey was conducted by internet giant Baidu, the Chinese version of Google and Wikipedia, and asked 7,000 internets users born in the 1990s their views on love, friendship, consumption, family and employment.

No word on whether that support extends to marriage equality.

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China Gay Cure Clinic Sued

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Great Wall of ChinaA China gay cure clinic is being sued by LGBT activists.

Pink News reports:

Campaigners in China have taken a clinic to court over its backing of gay-to-straight conversion therapy. It’s the first time a lawsuit of this kind has been staged in the country. China declassified homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001, but scores of clinics still seek to provide so-called conversion therapy. Dr Zhou Zhengyou, of the Nanjing Urban Psychiatric Consultancy Centre, claims to have successfully “cured” 70% of his gay patients. He charges $120 (#70) a session. LGBT activists have begun a legal challenge against the clinic. The case will be heard in court on Thursday.

Wow – this is the first time I’ve heard of such action being taken in Asia, and in China, no less!

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China: Hong Kong Has Barred the UK Consulate From Marrying Same Sex Couples

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Hong KongAfter news broke that UK consulates around the world would marry same sex couples, Hong Kong moved to block the practice.

Pink News reports:

Under secondary same-sex marriage legislation which came into effect last week, couples can marry in 23 British consulates across the world under British law where local law prohibits same-sex marriage, including Russia and China. The countries are Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, and Vietnam. However, officials at the British consulate in Hong Kong confirmed the local government had banned them from performing marriages, despite permission in mainland China, and despite Hong Kong’s large British population.

I thought that a consulate, like an embassy, was essentially another country – how is it that Hong Kong can ban what happens on UK soil?

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China: Gay Man Sues Government for Recognition of Marriage Equality Group

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Great Wall of ChinaAfter China denied his application to register his group, Same-Sex Love Assistance Network, as an NGO, a gay man has decided to sue.

Towleroad.com reports:

The LGBT activist, Xiang Xiaohan, is the first gay man to do so. Xiaohan had attempted to register his group, Same-Sex Love Assistance Network, as a non-governmental organization (NGO) but his application was denied. In response, Xiaohan filed a defamation lawsuit in February but the case was thrown out of court earlier this month.

The BBC reports: Xiang Xiaohan filed the lawsuit in the provincial capital, Changsha, after the Hunan government turned down his application to register his organisation. In a written reply to him, the local government said homosexuality had no place in Chinese traditional culture and “the building of spiritual civilisation” – a catchphrase in modern China for what many believe is the party’s indoctrination. “I believe what the government said [in the reply] defames the reputation of the gay and lesbian community in China, and I want them to issue a written apology,” said Mr Xiang.

It’s a step forward in China, not historically known for LGBT rights.

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China: Students Urge Lawmakers to Legalize Marriage Equality

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Great Wall of ChinaA group of Chinese students has sent letters to the Government to urge them to legalize marriage equality.

Gay Star News reports:

Liang Wenhui, a graduate student from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies and founder of Chinese Gay-Straight Alliance, with the help of other students wrote and posted 3,000 individually-addressed letters to individual deputies of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) last week urging them to legalize same-sex marriage. Twenty-two students from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou are said to have spent five and half hours stuffing the letters in the envelopes, piling them into four big boxes before taking them to the post office. According to The Nanfang news website, Liang says that same-sex couples have experienced a lot of discrimination when it comes to receiving medical and health services, social welfare, and rights related to the disposal of property, commercial insurance, banking and the purchase of a home.

Change comes, albeit slowly, even in communist China.

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China: Head of Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunities Commission Proposes Civil Unions

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

York Chow Yat-ngokSame-sex couples in Hong Kong may get civil unions, under a new proposal from the city’s Equal Opportunities Commission.

The South China Morning Post reports:

Amid an international debate on gay marriage, Dr York Chow Yat-ngok says other governments consider it a “matter of human rights” to allow people to marry others of the same sex. But he says conservative influences in Hong Kong will make it difficult to change the law, which restricts marriage to a union between a man and a woman. A civil union is a legal recognition of the partnership between a same-sex couple, which grants them the same rights in law as marriage in matters such as welfare benefits and inheritance. But Chow hopes that by not using the word marriage, this would be more acceptable to conservative Hongkongers.

It would be a big change for China, which so far has not recognized same-sex couples at all.

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China: Lawyer Calls for Civil Partnership Law

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Great Wall of ChinaA Chinese lawyer is calling for the government to allow civil partnerships, as a first step toward marriage equality. Gay Star News reports:

One of ten lawyers who petitioned Chinese lawmakers to allow same-sex marriage in May said over the weekend that introducing civil partnerships might be the first step towards that goal. Liu Wei, a lawyer with the Beijing-based Angelo Chen Law Office, made the comments at the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) sponsored 2013 China LGBT Community Consultation conference. ‘Same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights and responsibilities as civil marriages. In recent years, an increasing number of them have consulted us about the issue,’ Liu Wei told the conference according to the state owned Xinhua news agency.

Things are really heating up in China on the marriage equality front. Just last week Chinese grandmother’s video plea for marriage equality for her grandson went viral.

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China: Grandma Advocates for Marriage Equality for Her Grandson

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Chinese GrandmotherA grandmother with a gay son in China is pushing for him to be able to marry another man. Gay Star News reports:

A 90-year-old woman has become an unexpected internet hit in China after her video calling for equal rights for her gay grandson went viral. ‘I am 90 years old,’ the grandmum says in the video, ‘My grandson is gay. ‘He treats me very well and he is sensible. I love him [and] I hope he can find a boyfriend and have a happy life. I hope the government can support him.’ During the video she holds up a sign which says in Chinese, ‘we urge the legalization of same-sex marriages.’

I lost one of my wonderful grandmothers last year, but I’d totally take this one in her stead.

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China: Marriage Equality Activists March in Hong Kong

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Hong KongGay rights advocates marched toe marriage equality yesterday in Hong Kong. Gay Star News reports:

The annual march marks the date of the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China and is a rallying point for pro-democracy supporters and law reform campaigners. A big contingent from Hong Kong equal love campaign Big Love took part in this year’s march which over 100,000 people took part in. Marching with Big Love were openly gay Cantonese pop singer Denise Ho Wan-Si and alternative music star Anthony Wong Yiu-Ming.

China has about 1.34 billion people. Add these to the current 600 million who live in places that enjoy marriage equality, and a third of the world would enjoy marriage equality.

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