Sunday, April 17, 2016

Un jour -- dans une société meilleure --
un autre, fait tout comme moi,
apparaîtra, c'est sûr, et vivra librement.

-- Constantin Cavafis, Choses tues (avril 1908)

One day, in a more perfect society,
someone else made just like me
is certain to appear and act freely.

-- C. P. Cavafy, Hidden (April 1908)

Despite court ruling, China’s gay rights
movement makes gains

Sun Wenlin (right) sits with his partner, Hu Mingliang
Sun Wenlin (right) sits with his partner, Hu Mingliang, at home Tuesday,
a day before going to court to argue in China's first gay marriage case in
Changsha, central China's Hunan province. | AP

Though it was dismissed by the court in Changsha, China’s first legal challenge to a law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples has galvanized many of the hundreds of young Chinese gay rights supporters who gathered at the courthouse, some of them waving small rainbow flags. The hearing’s sizable public turnout and coverage by usually conservative Chinese media appeared to reflect early signs of shifting social attitudes in China on the topic of sexual orientation.
The lawsuit that was dismissed was brought by 26-year-old Sun Wenlin against the civil affairs bureau for refusing to issue him and his partner, Hu Mingliang, a marriage registration certificate. The judge’s ruling against the couple came down after a three-hour hearing — but that didn’t dampen the mood of many of the hundreds of young Chinese who gathered outside the courthouse hoping for a chance to “witness history,” in the words of one supporter.
Some supporters, who had traveled overnight from neighboring provinces to line up at 5 a.m. to attend the hearing, said they felt energized because having a gay marriage lawsuit argued in a Chinese court for the first time was a small but significant victory in itself. Unlike in most politically sensitive legal cases, security outside the courthouse was light and the atmosphere was relaxed.
More seasoned activists said they too had reason to be optimistic given a pickup in legal challenges, even if successes in court remained few and far between.
Chinese society and the government have generally frowned on nontraditional expressions of gender and sexuality, but awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues is rising.
China doesn’t legally recognize same-sex marriage, and officials with the central government have said they do not see the law changing soon. It also remains unclear how far gay rights activism will be allowed to go under the current political climate in China, where lawyers groups and feminist activists have been jailed in recent months.
But many gay rights activists in China say they feel public attitudes are shifting substantially given the growing mainstream media coverage of LGBT issues.
In 2014, a Chinese court ruled that gay conversion treatments were illegal.

Sun Wenlin and his partner, Hu Mingliang, talk to journalists after losing their trial
Sun Wenlin and his partner, Hu Mingliang, talk to journalists after losing
their trial over Sun's complaint against a civil affairs bureau for denying his
right to marry in Changsha, China, on Wednesday. | REUTERS"

Central China Television, the state broadcaster, has covered gay issues on several occasions and sent a reporter Wednesday to interview Sun after the court decision.
As he left the courthouse amid applause and cries of “Hero,” Sun, the plaintiff, told reporters and scores of supporters that he would continue to appeal until all of his legal options were exhausted.
“The bigger significance of this case is that it will let more people know about their rights,” said Gou Gou, a Beijing-based lawyer from an informal group of legal professionals called the Rainbow Lawyers network. “But young people are the most passionate. This will hopefully direct them to become more involved with the right training.” Read more...
Source: Japan Times, The Associated Press, April 17, 2016


Man proposes to his boyfriend
at their best friend’s wedding

As the bride fakes going to throw the bouquet, she runs into the crowd and hands it to an unsuspecting Scott Gray.
After which Scott’s boyfriend, Mark Foster, gets down on one knee.
After a tearful proposal, Scott says yes, and the crowd erupts into applause.
The two men are the newly-wed couple's best friends.
‘Mark, my husband and I planned the proposal together secretly and surprised the entire wedding!’
(Gay Star News, April 17, 2016)

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