GUANGZHOU, China — A PFLAG chapter in China has sent an open letter to delegates of China’s National People’s Congress demanding marriage equality for their children.
Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays in China sent the letter Monday on behalf of more than 100 parents of gays and lesbians from around the nation, hoping the Congress will consider the the issue when it convenes in March.
Under China’s current marriage law, same-sex couples aren’t allowed and are excluded from the civil rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
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Ah Qiang, an associate at PFLAG’s Guangzhou offices told the South China Morning Post on Wednesday that many parents first came to the organization for consultation after finding out their children were gay.
“Gradually they realized they wanted to do things to help their children live life as equals,” he said.
He also noted that the letter has been widely circulated online and reported on by several major Chinese media outlets, adding that he hasn’t had a response from any NPC delegates. Qiang said he was determined to keep reaching out to delegates by writing or calling them.
The Morning Post also reported that Li Yinhe, a leading Chinese sexologist and promoter of LGBT rights, had earlier this month asked NPC delegates to assist in submitting an amendment proposal to legalize same-sex marriages.
“Homosexual people are Chinese citizens and there are homosexuals who want to get married. Their request should be addressed as it does not run against their civil rights as citizens,” read Li’s proposal.
The text of the letter reads:
Greetings, respected NPC delegates!
We are from all parts of China, and our children are homosexuals, so we are called “Comrade Parents” [“comrade” is slang for homosexual in Chinese]. Our children are unable to legally form a family with their beloved partners, becoming husband and husband or wife and wife, because of their sexual orientation, which has caused a great deal of inconvenience for them in a number of ways, including in everyday life and when they seek medical treatment.
It is widely accepted in the field of sociology that homosexuals represent 3-5% of the population. That means that China has about 60 million homosexuals, and because China’s Marriage Law defines marriage as a partnership between one man and one woman, they are unable to enter the halls of marriage.
Some of our children have been with their same-sex partners for almost ten years; they care for and love each other dearly, but they are unable to legally sign for their partners when they are ill and in need of an operation. As the parents of homosexuals, we are often worried, because they cannot legally marry, and this impacts to various degrees their ability to adopt, sign [for a partner] in the event an operation is needed due to illness, inherit their partner’s assets, or even buy a house.
What is even more incredible is that our homosexual children have the right to legally marry opposite-sex partners, even if they do not love someone of the opposite sex. It is widely known that when homosexuals marry partners of the opposite sex, this leads to the serious societal problem of the heterosexual partner becoming a “beard,” leading even more people to live unhappy lives. Our laws can’t possibly be encouraging homosexuals to marry heterosexuals, can they?
Furthermore, homosexuality is not a violation of any Chinese law currently in effect; homosexuals have all rights afforded to citizens of the People’s Republic of China, and homosexuals cannot be denied the right to marry for long.
We strongly request that NPC delegates and CPPCC committee members give their attention to this matter, listen to the voices of 120 million “Comrade Parents,” acknowledge the wishes of 60 million homosexuals for equality and dignity, and call for a the Marriage Law to be changed as soon as possible, so that China’s 60 million homosexual citizens can have an equal right to marry.
Thank you for taking the time to pay attention to our request, and we wish you all the best in your work and health!
Some parents of PFLAG China
Marriage rights for gays and lesbians has become a hot topic on China’s social media after a lesbian couple was not allowed to register for marriage in Beijing on Monday.