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China State TV Defends Gays

In a surprise move, China’s state TV, CCTV, has defended the nation’s LGBT community against remarks made by bigoted actress Lü Liping.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

5th July 2011 11:46

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

Commentary on CCTV’s new channel program ’24 hours’ by anchor Qiu Qiming slated Lu for her support of homophobic comments by a Chinese pastor in the USA.

“We respect the faith of individual celebrities, and we allow them to have their own point of view on issues. But, that does not mean that we agree that a person of such influence should have the power to openly discriminate against certain communities in China.”

”There is no doubt,” Qiu added, “that the sexual orientation of certain people in our midst are different from the rest of us. But they are also diligently contributing to society. Gay people, like us, have the right to exist and develop themselves in society, and this right should not be overtaken by any other concept.“

And in a reference to Voltaire’s famous aphorism, Qiu said in closing, “We’d like to say a word to the gay community – and it’s something we’ve all heard many times over – I may not agree with the way you live, but I will defend your right to be different from me.” He added that she should ‘reconsider her ways’.

While this public slap in the face for such a well known personality has pleased most members of the country’s LGBT community, the deeper meaning is a little more clouded, and is seen by some as a way for the authorities to hit out at christian and other fundamentalists that are seen as a threat to the state.

In a further message from China’s leaders, the powerful China Daily newspaper also today published a harsh article criticising her and supporting LGBT in China, headlined, “Actress’ homosexual slurs unacceptable”.