Taiwan is now the first country in Asia to rule in favor of same-sex marriage. And China is taking notice.
Before, China ignored Western ideas allowing same-sex marriage- mainland authorities would turn a blind eye to such “display of progress” with the justification that those nations’ situations, cultures and values differed from China’s.
Now, Taiwan, sharing the same language and ancestors with mainland China, has made a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. This would really “prick” the mainland public and authorities to consider it as well.
Gay rights activists on mainland China celebrated the ruling and see it as a boost to their own campaign to legalize same-sex unions. One obstacle: Chinese citizens who are worried that the ruling will mislead children about the idea of marriage.
“It will mislead children and be detrimental to their mindset.” One one internet user on China’s popular online site Sina Weibo, commented.
Another user: “These things are all in clashes with human society’s basic principles.”
Su Xiaohe wrote on Sina Weibo that the ruling was against nature. He said that the freedom of human interaction has lost its boundary.
Taiwan’s landmark decision has given hope to gay rights activists in mainland China. Hunan-based gay rights campaigner Sun Wenlin was so excited about the Taiwan court’s ruling that he and his partner, Hu Mingliang, planned to invite friends to their home for a party celebrating the momentous legislation. He believes that the mainland will be pushed by the Taiwan ruling toward the “marriage equality direction.”
Spain legalized same-sex marriage in 2005 and many Spanish-speaking countries followed in the succeeding years.
Sun and Hu went to the Civil Affairs Bureau of Furong District of Changsa in a groundbreaking case to get legally married, but were rejected for being both male. The couple challenged the bureau with a lawsuit but lost again, the first of its kind in China. They filed yet another appeal last year but lost again.
Li said there is little progress in the legislation on mainland China because strong discrimination exists against gay people. There is also no channel that would allow them to make their voices heard by those in power. No legislator in the National People’s Congress represents gay people’s interests. There is also the general belief that most people in the society don’t care about gay groups’ rights.”