Equality activists in China will make a legal push for state recognition of same-sex marriage. It comes in a nation that doesn’t legally ban such unions, but where state regulators have defined marriage as between a man and woman.
China remains in the process of reviewing its civil laws and has received nearly 200,000 petitions appealing for recognition of same-sex marriage, according to the South China Morning Post. LGBTQ activists held a press conference in August announcing a push for recognition, but as the government enters the last stage of drafting new law, there’s been little acknowledge of the effort by the state.
“We know that it’s already the third draft and they will probably not include same-sex marriage, but at least we want to let lawmakers hear there’s a need among the LGBT community,” said Yanzi, director of Guangzhou-based LGBT Rights Advocacy China.
The organization reports it had set a goal of 100,000 petitions to the government but achieved that within days. Individuals in nonrecognized unions and many of those citizens’ parents have been the primary signatories.
Ling Gu, a lesbian from Wuhan, runs a real estate business with her wife, but remains single in the eyes of the law. “Without a marriage certificate, it’s like a mission we can never accomplish. A blank left in the puzzle of life,” she wrote on WeChat.
But the state has maintained its position thus far.
Zang Tiewei, spokesman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of China’s top legislative body, told press three months ago that regulators’ interpretation that marriage certificates should only be issued to male-female couples was in line with Chinese customs and tradition, even if no statute expressly said marriage should be limited to heterosexual couples.