CHINA TOPIX

Updated 4:59 PM EDT, Fri, Oct 11, 2019

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Gay Couple Sues Registry for Marriage Inequality

Gay Couple Sues Registry for Marriage Inequality

(Photo : Getty Images/ Drew Angerer) China's civil affair bureau has been sued after denying a same sex couple a marriage certificate.

A civil affairs bureau in Central China received a lawsuit on Wednesday, April 13 after it refused to grant Sun Wenlin and his partner, Hu Minliang, a marriage certificate.

Shi Fulong, the couple's lawyer, was not surprised by the ruling but was bewildered by how the judgment was made under four hours.

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Shi contended that Sun and Hu should be granted marriage since there is no law that specifically bans people with the same sex from marrying. Sun Wenlin, defended himself saying that the laws focuses on the legality of marriage between a man and a woman, but does not necessarily imply the proscription of marriage between the same sexes.

"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 numerous hundreds of young Chinese gay rights supporters who gathered at the courthouse, some of them waving small rainbow flags," Sun said.

He said that the lawsuit came at a time when awareness about LGBT issues emerged, adding that "but once you knock on the door, you can knock on it for a second and third time, and there's a chance the door will finally open someday."

Shi also defended the couple saying that if the law is incapable of bringing equality and justice, the law should be changed. "It goes against the spirit of the laws of the People's Republic of China," he said.

After the dismissal of the case, the couple was made to pay a small fee of $7 for the court costs. With high spirits, the couple still plans to appeal even after their petition was turned down in the court proceeding.

According to government officials, China does not support same-sex marriage and that rule is not about to change.

"I hope I can pave the way as far and wide as possible so that people who want to do the same will see how much we have tried and what possibilities there can be," Sun said.

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