Same-sex wedding on street of conservative China
A special same-sex wedding ceremony was performed on Guanggu Car-free Street in Wuhan, Hubei Province on March 8. The wedding, which has no legal status in China, is actually a performance art organized by Wuhan’s homosexual rights group in a bid to express the community’s yearning for recognition and understanding from the masses.
March 8 is the International Women’s Day, which is also observed in China. To the accompaniment of Wedding March, two same-sex couples dressed in wedding gowns and formal suits made wedding vows in the city’s central business district before they kissed their partners. The average age of the quartets is 23. One “bride”said, “Choosing to go through the wedding in front of the public on March 8 the Women’s Day is also for voicing support for Li Yinhe’s proposal to legalize same-sex marriage during the ‘Two Sessions.’”
Two sessions, or two meetings, referring to National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) convened in March each year, are when Chinese legislators and “people’s representatives” from all walks of life lay their heads together for the state affairs.
Li Yinhe is a prominent sexologist and gay rights advocate in China. As a member of CPPCC, she’s been bent on proposing legislation allowing same-sex marriages since 2003, only to be met with opposition each time.
Many who came to help arrange “the wedding”are volunteers. One female volunteer said, “Same-sex love does not affect life of anyone else. I wish this wedding can promote development of cultural pluralism in Wuhan. Our common goal is to advocate for tolerance and fairness. Even though this is not a real ‘wedding,’ true love always deserves blessing.”