Some 30 Chinese gay and lesbian activists in Beijing staged a mock wedding photo session on Feb 14 - Valentine's Day - to canvas for acceptance of same-sex relationships and marriage, reported Chinese gender and health web site Aibai.
Organisers gave out roses and flyers to onlookers to promote social acceptance of same-sex relationships and support of same-sex marriage laws. For the past few years sociologist Li Yinhe has been submitting proposals at the People's Congress to enact same-sex marriage legislation.
The Aibai report noted that for some passersby, it might be the first time they have met a gay or lesbian person in real life.
Although China does not specifically criminalise same-sex sexual acts and homosexuality is no longer officially considered a mental disorder, it is seldom discussed outside of city centres.
A female participant who asked to be identified as Dan Na said that while many opposite sex couples are openly going on dates on Valentine's Day, many same-sex couples are afraid to appear to be doing so.
The 24-year-old hopes for the event to have helped increase the visibility of gay men and lesbians, and that they are not much different from everyone else.
Zhang Yi, a 25-year-old male participant who posed with his parter Hai Bei, told reporters that like many other opposite-sex couples, gay couples too want to form a family unit with a loved one and for some, even taking a real wedding picture is a realisation of that dream.