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Chinese LGBT Conference Is Canceled — Again


Organizers of an LGBT gathering have once again encountered obstacles.

A conference dedicated to LGBT issues in China has been canceled.

The venue, the Jinsha Theater in Chengdu, allegedly double-booked the event, scheduled for Sunday, which was organized by the group Speak Out.

"The conference venue Jinsha theater told us that a government official activity was scheduled to be held on the same day, which left us with no choice but to cancel," Speak Out's founder, who identified by the name Matthew, told Reuters.

"The local state security bureau in Chengdu has also been in touch with us by phone in recent days, asking questions such as what is our next move on the arrangement for any event and what we are going to talk about at the event," Matthew added.

One of the planned topics was conversion therapy. Peng Yanhui, an LGBT activist, planned to speak out against the practice at the conference. He is "very sorry" to have lost that opportunity.

While it is not illegal to be gay in China, it is not culturally accepted. Same-sex marriage is not legal, and only 39 percent of the country's population believes it should be, according to a recent survey by WorkForLGBT. In 2016, China banned depictions of same-sex couples on television. Earlier this year, the Asian nation banned "abnormal sexual behaviors" from online content as well.

In May, a Chinese dating app for queer women, Rela, disappeared from app stores.

Users of Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, were quick to comment on the conference's cancellation. "Cheer up, the dawn comes after hard struggles in the dark. We shall see each other someday," one user said.

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