Lesbian Couple Holds Wedding In China In A Brave Push For Same-Sex Marriage

A Chinese couple, Teresa Xu and Li Tingting, held an illegal wedding in China in a brave push to get same-sex marriage recognised in the country.

They ideally wanted to try and make it official, but were apparently warned by police not to “make a scene”.

Apparently, they were inspired by the historic ruling by the US Supreme Court in favour of same-sex marriage, and held an informal wedding in front of two dozen friends at a restaurant in Beijing.

Li said to CNN, before the wedding took place: “I feel like this is the right time. We’ve been together for so long.”

Li is a well known women’s rights campaigner, she was even one of the five feminists detained in China back in March, for a total of 37 days. During this time, she wasn’t allowed to see Xu, and Li said that her interrogators called her homosexuality “sickening” and “shameless”.

There has been some progress on LGBT rights in China, as it was decriminalised in 1997 and was removed from the list of mental illnesses a year later. But, the source of their opposition is different to here in the West – it doesn’t come from religion. Instead one of their biggest pressures comes from family, which is brought on by China’s one child policy.

The executive director of the Beijing Gender Health Education Institute said to CNN last year: “You have only one child so you want your child to be as ‘normal’ as everybody else.”

Some members of the Chinese LGBT community even take part in “fake marriages”, where you have gay men and lesbian or bisexual women marrying each other out of social and economic convenience.

So, despite the advances that have been made, there is still resistance as well as a lot of stigma. A 2013 survey by U.S. research group Pew showed that only a very small 21% of people in China were in favor of accepting homosexuality.