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4 May 2016

US Consul General in Shanghai marries partner

Hanscom Smith has married his Chinese male partner Lyu Yingzong (Eric Lu) in a ceremony in San Francisco, California

One of the USA’s most senior diplomats and Consul General in Shanghai has married his long-term Taiwanese partner during his holiday leave in the US. Smith announced the marriage on the US Consul General Weibo account, saying

”It is time to share some happy news with you all..." The announcement has been mostly greeted with well wishes for the newlyweds by Chinese netizens.

Smith is from Maine in the US and has served as Shanghai Consul General for  years. He  previously served in the Office of Japanese Affairs at the Department of State and as the team leader at the United States Provincial Reconstruction Team in Muthanna Province, Iraq.

He was also a diplomat serving in the U.S. embassies in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Copenhagen, Demark, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Bangkok, Thailand, Kabul, Afghanistan and Beijing, China.

The American diplomat is following in the footsteps of former UK Consul General in Shanghai, Brian Davidson, who married his same-sex partner, Scott Chang, an American citizen, at the official residence of the UK ambassador to China in Beijing in 2014.

Same-sex marriage is not currently legal in China nor does it recognise union’s that took place elsewhere.

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-05-05 06:17  
Good to hear!

2. 2016-05-05 15:01  
3. 2016-05-05 15:52  
Good for them.

Not sure why it's news worthy. Gays get married all the time in the UK.

It's not legally recognised in China where they both live I guess. Would have been better to campaign for that to change and waiting.

I guess most Chinese gays can fly away to get married. Similarly, it'll mean nothing back home.

This isn't news.
4. 2016-05-05 16:28  
GTiLad: it is newsworthy because he's a senior diplomat from a huge and powerful country currently serving in a huge and powerful country. "Ordinary" people doing ordinary things (like getting married) is not big news, but his position doesn't make him "ordinary."

And I'm certain that the American's diplomatic privileges are now extended to his Chinese husband, meaning they are recognized as a married couple in places in China over which the US has sovereignty. But you're right. Outside the "US borders" in China, the marriage doesn't mean anything.

Still, it'll be interesting to see if this will prompt discussions of acknowledging the Chinese LGBTQ community.
5. 2016-05-06 11:12  
isn't Eric Lu Taiwanese? a bit disappointed with the reporting.

6. 2016-05-06 14:58  
Gintaipei, welcome to the world of fridae reporting :).

7. 2016-05-06 14:58  
"Still, it'll be interesting to see if this will prompt discussions of acknowledging the Chinese LGBTQ community"

Why should it? If you're a diplomat you just fly home to get married.

8. 2016-05-06 21:58  
Um, that's really nice
9. 2016-05-06 23:42  
All the best
10. 2016-05-07 18:23  
The last picture looks like he's happy to have finally graduated and is celebrating with the parents that adopted him all those years go.
11. 2016-05-11 09:32  
"Hanscom Smith, the United States consul general in Shanghai, confirmed Tuesday that his same-sex spouse, Eric Lu (呂英宗), is Taiwanese."

"Welcome to the world of Fridae reporting?" So you mean I should unsubscribe to their newsletter, as it's painfully inaccurate?
12. 2016-05-11 13:48  
Never unsubscribe, but just be aware of its bias and inaccuracies.

The stories always read as tho gays should be living in fear. Especially in Asia, however, the West is at the end of the rainbow and all is happy here.

It's comical to read the links to the sources sometimes and see what's been omitted.


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