Couple’s Lawsuit Is First Test for Same-Sex Marriage in China

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from The New York Times,

The two young men met through an online chat group. They began seeing each other every day. Long walks in the park. Movies and barhopping. Dinner with grandparents.

On their first anniversary, in June, the men, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, tried to register to marry at a local civil affairs bureau in this southern provincial capital. An employee refused, saying Chinese law did not permit same-sex marriage. The couple did the unthinkable — they sued the civil affairs bureau.

This month a district court accepted their case, the first time a Chinese court had agreed to hear a lawsuit on same-sex marriage. The proceedings were expected to start Thursday. Some Chinese news organizations have reported on the case, including the English-language edition of Global Times, a prominent state-run publication.

“Whether I want to marry or not, it should be my right to decide,” said Mr. Sun, 27, as he ate dinner at a fish restaurant on Wednesday. “I increasingly wanted to bring this lawsuit because they wouldn’t give me the right.”

Mr. Hu, 37, a security guard, said, “I had relationships before, and I had thought about getting married before. The state wouldn’t allow me, and my family wouldn’t allow me. There were many obstacles.”

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