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25 Jan 2011

Gay men 'marry' in Beijing

Two men in Beijing have reportedly held a "comparatively open" wedding ceremony with about 50 friends in attendance as reports quote a HIV/AIDS prevention volunteer and emcee at the wedding as saying that same-sex marriages will help reduce the chances of HIV infection among gay men.

Two men in Beijing celebrated their union amongst some 50 friends in a restaurant on Saturday, according to media reports.

Although same-sex marriage is not legally recognised in China, it is reportedly the first publicly known wedding held between two men in Beijing. Previously two gay women held a ceremony in South China's Guangdong province.

Da Wen and Xiao Qiang (not their real names), whose marriage is not legally recognised under Chinese law, want to be an example to other gay couples in the country. Aside from it being an act of their commitment and love, they say their marriage is also a bid to strengthen the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to Shanghai Daily.

According to another report about the marriage in the People’s Daily, the wedding ceremony was hosted by Xiao Dong, director of the Beijing Rainbow Volunteer Station on HIV/AIDS prevention, who was quoted as saying that same-sex marriage could help people in the gay community prevent AIDS as marriage could seal relationships and avoid rapid changes in sex partners.

"Their marriage is a remarkable move in the gay community because a settled-down relationship helps reduce the chances of AIDS infection," said Xiao.

He added that the lack of a law to regulate same-sex marriages in China made it difficult for gay couples to maintain their relationships.

People in gay communities would often have several sex partners due to the absence of law, thus dramatically increasing the risk of them getting AIDS, Xiao said.

Statistics from a 2010 Health Report conducted by the Beijing Health Bureau show among the 1,233 new HIV/AIDS cases last year in Beijing, the ratio of male to female was 7.62: 1, with 60 percent of new infections contracted by man-to-man sexual relations.

"Each attempt to fight the spread of AIDS is worth trying, including getting married," Xiao said in an interview with Beijing Times.

The Shanghai Daily also reported that Da Wen, a Beijing native, only came to the realisation that he is gay three years ago after he had married and become a father. He had told his wide and asked for a divorce but she refused, not wishing her child to be the product of a broken home. The report noted that Da's "marriage" to Xiao Qiang does not qualify as bigamy because Chinese law doesn't mention gay marriage.

The report additionally quoted a staff member of an organisation that provides help for sex workers who disagreed that marriage is effective in preventing HIV/AIDS.

Tony Zhen, director of Shanghai Leyi, was quoted as saying: "It's hard to understand the relation linking marriage and AIDS prevention."

Zhen said gay people might still have other sex partners even after marriage, and if a spouse found out about a love affair, there was no marriage law to protect him.

Reader's Comments

1. 2011-01-25 17:05  
yes... Finally... Congrat'
2. 2011-01-26 00:09  
Great! China can be a leader of the world for human gay rights and equality.
3. 2011-01-26 00:49  
From the perspective of equality and individual freedom I support same-sex marriage, but as quoted in the last part of the article, I'm not sure I can get the so-called link between marriage and AIDS prevention.
4. 2011-01-26 01:44  
too bad the one guy already ruined his wife's and his kid's life by being a coward and getting married and having kids in the first place. he didn't "just realize" he is gay...he knew when he was much much younger..he was just too afraid to admit it. sadly, his fear led him to manipulate and ruin the lives of others...a trend in China.
5. 2011-01-26 01:44  
too bad the one guy already ruined his wife's and his kid's life by being a coward and getting married and having kids in the first place. he didn't "just realize" he is gay...he knew when he was much much younger..he was just too afraid to admit it. sadly, his fear led him to manipulate and ruin the lives of others...a trend in China.
6. 2011-01-26 02:36  
In-china you sure seem to be bitter about something. Different people have different timelines in dealing with coming out. Add to that social pressure to be married, its something neither you or i can comprehend as we are not chinese. Give the guy some credit, coming out to his wife and moving his life forward in the pursuit of happiness are big steps. Congrats!!!
7. 2011-01-26 03:35  
I agree with 'Quarter' that the relationship between marriage and HIV prevention is a big leap. I have been in a relationship for 20 years and I know several other long term couples. None of them practices absolute sexual fidelity and in at least one case one of the partners became HIV positive well into their relationship ( it is worth noting that they are still together in spite of that ). Specious arguments do nothing to further the fight for same-sex equality. Equality is the only truly valid argument for same-sex marriage that I know of and it is sufficient unto itself. We should leave it at that.
8. 2011-01-26 03:59  
I agree with In-China. You don't find out your gay over night. Maybe he was pushed by his Parents to get Married and didn't want to hurt their feelings at the time and then when push came to shove, he decided to bite the bullet
9. 2011-01-26 03:59  
I agree with In-China. You don't find out your gay over night. Maybe he was pushed by his Parents to get Married and didn't want to hurt their feelings at the time and then when push came to shove, he decided to bite the bullet
10. 2011-01-26 04:53  
What lies between a CHOICE made and the more than 1 CONSEQUENCE faced, is the course that they got to take for the rest of their lives together. A course which is smooth or not is already there for them. I wish them luck . From Chaxuan9
11. 2011-01-26 05:06  
婚姻该不该结,已经不重要。 为理想而踏出这一步,正好代表你们跟全世界的人宣誓,日后的路是要一起走,将来的问题是要一起面对。有了彼此的扶持才能继续得到众人的祝福。 我在此祝福你们重重难关重重过,有个明天会更好的将来, 让人知道你们选择了对方是没错的。 祝福你们永浴爱河 !
12. 2011-01-26 07:10  
13. 2011-01-26 07:12  
Next step is to have their own baby!
14. 2011-01-26 07:16  
Many gay/bi men marry including women who later develop gay relationships. Their children still grow up to have intersting loving parents -father/mothers do not always abandon them. Only heterosexual partners are well known for dumping their children.

So good for these guys! SO tough with the social, family and cultural pressures that make one marry there. Good for them now they are free!
15. 2011-01-26 07:20  
The UK used to have anti gay laws as did China and the USA until1999. Society was against gay people as was the establishment and that is why many married women....it was expected and even demanded. China has come a long way since Mao. So do not mock a culture that you do not understand....and here I am suggesting this to all; this includes people of Chinese origin who have never lived in China or been through the years of reform. Too many people judge without knowledge or understanding......and I am no expert even living and working in China for 6 years!
16. 2011-01-26 07:24  
17. 2011-01-26 07:32  
so good your comments.
I find those guys so courageous. I can understand.. even myself i made my coming-out after 35 years of marriage with a woman. I'm a canadian. Imagine how can it be difficicult for a chinese guy... congratulations to them
18. 2011-01-26 08:08  
So sweet... i support gay marriage. :)
19. 2011-01-26 08:43  
praise the Lord for Gay Weddings, its fantastic and so great, good news for mankind, its a spunik moment for China
20. 2011-01-26 09:25  
Not sure how marriage will help stop the spread of HIV/Aids anymore than it has any of the other STD's that have been around since the beginning of time. Parks, public washrooms, saunas, baths etc., are full of "happily married" guys that have a wife and kids at home.

It's great news that they took the initiative to get married and I congratulate them. The BIG news will follow: how the authorities in China will deal with it. Let's wish them well and hope that the authorities in China are big enough, bold enough and mature enough to accept it.
21. 2011-01-26 09:45  
congrats :) happiness > sadness :D
22. 2011-01-26 10:03  
What an amazing piece of news! I am sincerely happy about the progress the Chiinese gay community have made these years.
23. 2011-01-26 12:27  
I live in China, I am not mocking a culture that I do understand and live in. I am mocking cowardly people that hide themselves in lies and deceit, and have no problem whatsoever filling the lives of others with turbulence and regret because they were too wimpy to stand up to their parents. I am aware the US had anti-gay laws before 1999, and I was gay long before 1999. I may or may not choose to be "out" (I choose to be out), but I either way I don't have to affect innocent people. If you are gay and you marry a woman and have a family to hide your sexuality, I don't see how that is any different than hate crimes and gay bashing. You want straight people to support gay marriage? So do I. Don't make a mockery of heterosexual marriage by getting into one when you're gay.
24. 2011-01-26 12:40  
the real proof of love is buying an expensive real estate property together, girls won't marry u in china until you can buy a house, and gay men aren't any different, so guys start saving for that big house and take care of your guy and give him the security he needs, cause muscle men are a dime a dozen these days, but real gay man must take care of his mate
Comment #25 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-21 18:16
26. 2011-01-26 13:54  
a new move !~ congratulation
27. 2011-01-26 14:59  
I've always found marriage to be a contrived act of humans who have the need to show fidelity by promises uttered at the altar to any number of witnesses.

Time and again, conjugal commitments once eagerly entered into become broken when there is infidelity, financial hardship or one of a myriad of reasons or a combination of reasons. Some of these broken promises are tolerable or reparable, some not.

The sad truth is that there isn’t a piece of paper, a ring, a set of laws or a punishment that is sufficient to bind the will to love mutually should that will fails.

I am of the opinion that marriage, straight or gay, should be abolished worldwide; instead, we are to care for one another, some more lovingly than others, in accordance with the degree of chemistry between two persons and the depth of our own conscience.
Comment edited on 2011-01-27 14:31:29
28. 2011-01-26 17:45  
Congratulation... but worries for would get arrested by tomorrow !!!
29. 2011-01-26 18:18  
KL (Malaysia)

Political changes have to come in Malaysia otherwise we will remain backward looking.

I can say this is being 'looked' at currently.
However, we still have Religeous issues to deal with which is a dilemma. Our people know this.
30. 2011-01-26 18:24  
Agree with In-China.

"If you are gay and you marry a woman and have a family to hide your sexuality". Say, if you feel happy when you make someone painful?

31. 2011-01-26 19:39  
"....quote a HIV/AIDS prevention volunteer and emcee at the wedding as saying that same-sex marriages will help reduce the chances of AIDS infection among gay men."

You can't be infected with AIDS. That's very well into untreated HIV infection. By saying that you're instilling stigma and fear in HIV infection, and assuming all HIV infection cases lead to AIDS, which is not necessarily true. Sigh.
Comment edited on 2011-02-03 21:01:12
32. 2011-01-26 23:57  
oh wow, after reading this feature, i would like to congratulate for them and wish they will be happy and have a long couple life. For me i would love to have someone to love me and we can treat each other. I even dont expect to have a wedding like them as I'm really shy to let my parents know about my gay life but i will arrange it best. i know and its really weird in others' view that men have a wedding,right? but in my opinion, i think it's really beautiful and awesome as Gays have right to marry each other and at least they will not play around with others or make any trouble in the society, I wish they will keep the promise to love each other >
Comment edited on 2011-01-27 00:00:17
33. 2011-01-27 00:00  
34. 2011-01-27 10:50  
That's really make me so happy&emotion. I feel want to cry out after read it. Both of them so happiness. I wish them have a good relationship until long lasting forever. China such a conservative country, both of them damn brave to get a same sex marriage, I hope in my country here also have someone brave like them to come out to have same sex marriage, I think it's totally hard in Malaysia to have this kind of marriages. If do so, I will give a moral support to them. Maybe in the future will get better, whose know......he.......he........he..........
35. 2011-01-27 12:35  
I wouldn't expect China to change on their human rights record any time soon. Remember that the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize is currently in jail for speaking out against the Chinese government.
36. 2011-01-27 14:04  
Congratulations!! not only in china, but i think if any other country can accept gay marriage, i think it is not possible to reduce HIV. Anyway, once again, i would like to express my happiness for both of them, congratulations...!!!
37. 2011-01-27 19:14  
well, i would say, they are brave. ppl in china do not really accept homosexual due to many factors plus years ago, gay ppl were considered as psychopathy and they would be sent to asylum...so my point is this country has changed alot, and what these 2 ppl did is very chearful for local gay ppl..gratz...
38. 2011-01-28 21:56  
Good to heard that news in China especially now im in tianjin working. Well, i do agreed if gay marry will really help to reduce the chances of HIV/AIDS infection. This is wat i always tell my bf too.

Many gays that i know/i seen are not respect in relationship. they are just looking for sex or ONS (one night stand) relationship (or sex partner) in fridae or facebook or thru other gay websites. I cant really tolerate this kind of gay guys.

I believe both party when they settled down, they will move forward more to their life style, living standard or career movement as well.

At last but not least, to all other gay guys, please do not hunts around especially people who had bf. It is not good and i always believe in karma. Ensure that the person u looking for sex are single and available. I have seen many gay guys doing that here. Sad to said that, straight ppl will look down on us cos they tot all gay guys are easily get AIDS.

Cheers to Da Wen and Xiao Qiang. Happy together!!!
39. 2011-01-29 20:32  
I hope someday in the future, the law can admitted it.
congratulations :)
40. 2011-01-30 09:01  
IN-CHINE SAYS IT ALL....... I totally agree with your and your comments..
Over my life I have met many men that have dont this and the lives they have damaged litter their paths... PLEASE dont tell me that I dont understand the asian way of life . That is totally a cop out if your not true to yourself then you cant be true to anyone in your life ok enough said ..As far as the couple in Chine didnt impress me they really didnt do anything to change the situation and again too afraid to give their own names??? mmmm
41. 2011-01-31 10:25  
It's been a while that I'm waiting such an inspiring good news like this. I can see that it will get better.
42. 2011-02-03 23:10  
43. 2011-02-04 00:04  
Congratulations! And the next step, like what Elton John did, to adopt a son or daughter and raise their kid together, a practise seemingly normal in the US TV Series "Queer As Folks"..only, if only the government & society over there come to senses & recognize gay marriages. Long Live The Queer Revolution! 同志大革命万岁!
44. 2011-02-06 03:42  
同志大革命万岁! 万岁! 万岁! 万万岁! :D
45. 2011-02-06 13:55  
My two cents here ! I feel sorry for the guy who got married and now wants a separation. With a child in tow ? Poor child.

How can anyone not know he / she is gay ??? only after marriage and a child ? hhmmmmm

I knew I was one when I was in kindergarten . Hope he knows what he is doing. All the best to the child , to his wife and to him !
46. 2011-02-06 13:57  
Good to know that two Chinese guys got together to marry. I am so happy for them. I wish them happiness and longevity. Be a role model for the rest of us to emulate. Cheers !!
47. 2011-04-16 04:05  
well nothign can be perfect. If one of them got married with a girl and hava a kid thats true its not wright, but is better than to be cheatting all his life, this happen because of the culture not just in China thats happen in america too but i hopee one they all the gays around the world can choose their life atyele with more fredom.

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