By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com January 17 2013 1:39 PM ET
A new report released last week in China by the First Intermediate People's Court of Beijing calls for legislation that would make it legal for anyone who discovers their spouse is gay to get an annulment rather than a divorce. According to China Daily, the country has" at least 10 million 'gay wives,' according to prominent sexologist Zhang Beichuan, adding that nearly 90 percent of gay men are already married to or will eventually marry heterosexual women, as same-sex marriage is banned in the country."
The report concludes that the change in legal status (from "divorced" to "single") would better protect teh rights of women. Tabitha, a 24-year-old member of the Tongqi Association, a support group for wives of gay men, said that the difficulties facing "divorced" women in China are so extreme that many wives of gay men stay married.
"A divorced man in his 40s can still be sought-after and find a 20-something woman to marry," she told China Daily. "But when it comes to a divorced woman of the same age, that is absolutely not the case."
The news organization also reports that the proposal has caused a backlash from the gay community, who say that legalizing same-sex marriage and allowing gay men to have familes without marrying a womam would be a more progressive move. Others say the legislation should distinguish between men who realized they were gay after getting married, rather than before.