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Chinese police detain gay pride march organizer

Monday, May 20, 2013
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BEIJING — Police in central China have detained the 18-year-old organizer of a gay pride march in a sign of the government’s nervousness over a growing civil society and demands for stronger individual rights.

Image: South China Morning Post

Police and newspaper reports Monday said the man had been detained following the Friday event and ordered to serve 12 days in a detention center for organizing an illegal march. They identified him only by his surname, Xiang.

China requires prior police approval for all marches and street demonstrations and permission is very rarely granted. About 80 people took part in the march along a riverfront park, carrying anti-discrimination banners and a giant rainbow flag.

Chinese society is increasingly accepting of gays and lesbians, although same-sex partnerships are not recognized and no laws outlaw discrimination against sexual minorities.

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