China has accepted the first same-sex marriage case in the history of the country. The case will be heard in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.
26-year-old Sun Wenlin filed suit in December against the Changsha Furong District Civil Affairs Bureau after he attempted to register to marry his boyfriend at the bureau. A bureau official rejected his application, and told him that marriage had to be between a man and a woman.
Same-sex unions are currently not legal in China, although the country has seen a trend toward greater tolerance of homosexuality in recent years.
In 1997, homosexuality was decriminalized. In 2001, it was removed from a list of mental disorders endorsed by the Chinese Psychiatric Association. China’s current policy toward homosexuality has been termed the “three nots” approach: “not approved, not disapproved, not promoted.”
Notwithstanding the government’s ambivalence toward homosexuality, there is optimism surrounding the case. “I think from a legal point of view, we should be successful,” said Sun. “Our marriage law says there
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