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Marriage Equality

Gay Chinese Man Files Country's First Ever Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Gay Chinese Man Files Country's First Ever Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Changsha city, Changsha is the capital of Hunan Province in south-central China
Changsha city is the capital of Hunan Province in south-central China

A Chinese man has made history by filing the country's first lawsuit seeking marriage equality.

Sun Wenlin, a gay man from Hunan province, has filed China's first ever lawsuit challenging the country's marriage laws, according to Radio Free Asia.

Sun, 26, filed the lawsuit earlier this month after he was denied a license to marry his partner. He argues that Chinese marriage law refers to a "husband and wife" but does not specify the gender of either term. According to Sun, either gender can identify as a husband or a wife.

"We just hope that we can legally become each other's family in our own country someday in our lifetime," Sun told reporters. "Our most basic desires and rights have been denied, and this is very difficult to vindicate. I feel very angry."

The case is being hailed as major test in the communist country. While LGBT rights have expanded dramatically worldwide, support for LGBT rights is still low in China -- but growing. A Chinese activist who wished to not be identified told Radio Free Asia that about 22 percent of Chinese support marriage equality.

In 2010, Zeng Anquan and Pan Wenjie became the first Chinese men to marry each other publicly in a ceremony attended by over 200 friends. The marriage was not recognized by the government.

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