Last month, a group of 100 parents of gays and lesbians in China sent an open letter to delegates of China’s National People’s Congress to demand marriage equality for their children. The Congress, an annual meeting of China's 2,987 parliamentary members, opened in Beijing last week.
The letter was written by the Guangzhou-based Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) China. The non-profit group was founded in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong in June 2008.
Signatories of the letter called for the amendment of the Marriage Law to recognise same-sex marriage citing problems that same-sex couples in China face such as adoption, inheritance and purchasing properties.
The text of the letter reads (translation as seen on lgbtqnation.com):
To read the letter in Chinese, click here.
Greetings, respected NPC delegates!
We are from all parts of China, and our children are homosexuals, so we are called “Comrade Parents” [“comrade” is slang for homosexual in Chinese]. Our children are unable to legally form a family with their beloved partners, becoming husband and husband or wife and wife, because of their sexual orientation, which has caused a great deal of inconvenience for them in a number of ways, including in everyday life and when they seek medical treatment.
It is widely accepted in the field of sociology that homosexuals represent 3-5% of the population. That means that China has about 60 million homosexuals, and because China’s Marriage Law defines marriage as a partnership between one man and one woman, they are unable to enter the halls of marriage.
Some of our children have been with their same-sex partners for almost ten years; they care for and love each other dearly, but they are unable to legally sign for their partners when they are ill and in need of an operation. As the parents of homosexuals, we are often worried, because they cannot legally marry, and this impacts to various degrees their ability to adopt, sign [for a partner] in the event an operation is needed due to illness, inherit their partner’s assets, or even buy a house.
What is even more incredible is that our homosexual children have the right to legally marry opposite-sex partners, even if they do not love someone of the opposite sex. It is widely known that when homosexuals marry partners of the opposite sex, this leads to the serious societal problem of the heterosexual partner becoming a “beard,” leading even more people to live unhappy lives. Our laws can’t possibly be encouraging homosexuals to marry heterosexuals, can they?
Furthermore, homosexuality is not a violation of any Chinese law currently in effect; homosexuals have all rights afforded to citizens of the People’s Republic of China, and homosexuals cannot be denied the right to marry for long.
We strongly request that NPC delegates and CPPCC committee members give their attention to this matter, listen to the voices of 120 million “Comrade Parents,” acknowledge the wishes of 60 million homosexuals for equality and dignity, and call for a the Marriage Law to be changed as soon as possible, so that China’s 60 million homosexual citizens can have an equal right to marry.
Thank you for taking the time to pay attention to our request, and we wish you all the best in your work and health!
Some parents of PFLAG China
52% of over 72,000 respondents support same-sex marriage: Sina poll
A recent poll on Chinese Internet portal Sina.com shows 52% of over 72,000 respondents polled on that they thought about the open letter initiated by the parents of gays and lesbians say they support same-sex marriage ("I support it, love does not require a gender difference"), 24.9% of respondents say they oppose same-sex marriage ("I oppose it, gay marriage violates social mores") and 20.6% say they do not support, oppose, interfere or discriminate.