Lesbian couple in Guangzhou turned away at marriage registry, holds ceremony anyway

Lucy Liu , February 28, 2013 9:20am

You know same-sex marriage is becoming more mainstream when even Republicans are supporting it, but it still might be a while before it’s legally recognized in China.

A lesbian couple in Guangzhou decided to test the system themselves on Tuesday (February 26) when Jiu Jiu and A Ya appeared at the Civil Affairs Bureau in Haizhu District.

The receptionist gave them a marriage registration form and asked them to fill it out. One side was for the groom, the other for the bride. Once the clerk realized there were two women in front of her, she pulled the form away and said, “Only one man and one woman can get married, based on the marriage law.” Jiu Jiu and A Ya left in disappointment, but decided to hold a ceremony anyway, only a few weeks after another same-sex wedding ceremony in Shenzhen.

There is an extremely small – but growing – number of people in China who are pushing for marriage equality. A Qiang, the executive of a homosexual friends and relatives group, wrote a 600-word letter on behalf of the group to deputies of China’s National People’s Congress on February 25 calling for equal rights. The purpose was to raise awareness of the issue and show why allowing same-sex marriage is good for society.

A Qiang argued some same-sex couples in China have been together for 10 years or more, look after each other and love each other, but lack marriage benefits.  He said issues like healthcare, property inheritance, housing, and more is all affected by denying same-sex marriage. He said the answer is full legalization.

This is the second case of a same-sex marriage being thwarted just this week.  Another group tried to do the same in Beijing on Monday, but were turned away.