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The People’s Struggle

The year 2014 could be transformative for China, as some analysts say, but it may not be so for those seeking more rights for homosexual groups and legalization of same-sex marriage.

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16th March 2014 01:05

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

Before the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference started, a gay student from a university in Guangzhou sent letters to more than 3,000 NPC deputies and CPPCC members, urging them to submit proposals at the two sessions for legalizing same-sex marriage. He is not the first to do so and definitely will not be the last.

With people becoming more tolerant toward homosexuality, gays and lesbians have become more visible nowadays. But homosexuality is still to receive due consideration within the legislative circle, and by maintaining silence on the issue, the authorities seem to neither encourage nor discourage same-sex marriage.

Silence is not the solution to the problem. General studies on the subject suggest that 3-5 percent of the population of a country, regardless of its social and cultural contexts, are homosexuals. Since the total population of China is about 1.35 billion, some experts estimate that between 40.5 million and 67.5 million people in China fall in this category. This means more than 100 million people in China may be living with homosexuals with or without knowing it. And members of many of such families expect the national marriage law to be amended and same-sex marriage to be legalized. After all, Chinese citizens, regardless of their sexual orientations, should be able to enjoy equal rights.

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