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Proposal to help Chinese 'gay wives' stirs debate (3)

By Wang Ruoyao (Xinhua)

08:16, January 18, 2013

"Getting married is like signing a contract. Both sides have the right to know," Liang said. At the same time, he stressed that the law should not interfere if gay people reveal their sexual orientation before marrying straight partners.

In China, gay men chose to marry women and have children mainly due to significant pressure from their parents and social traditions, as many Chinese believe that continuing a family's bloodline is an inescapable obligation for men.

Despite this pressure, gay men have no right to harm those who are also vulnerable, Liu said.

"It's unfair to save oneself by putting others at a disadvantage," she said.

"I advocate for gay rights, but I'm also convinced that all people should be given equal rights," she said.

Hu said gay men, particularly younger ones, should raise the courage to be themselves in the face of pressure and discrimination.


The proposal, however, cannot benefit all "gay wives" and more efforts will be needed to protect their rights.

For those who have a child with their husband, an annulment would not make sense and divorce may be the only way out of the marriage, Zhang said.

Obtaining a divorce, however, has become a nightmare for many of the women.

"Many wives of gay men sacrifice almost everything just to break off their marriage," said "Tabitha."

"Zheyi," whose divorce suit took nearly two years, accused her ex-husband of forging debt to obtain more property. She mentioned another divorce case in which the wife suffered life-threatening violence.

"Zai Zai," also a former gay wife, managed to get a divorce six months ago at the expense of the custody of her daughter.

"I wouldn't divorce again if given a second chance. My daughter was hurt very deeply," said the 29-year-old woman, who hails from a small town in southwest China's Sichuan province.

"My daughter has become extremely timid. Some people keep telling her 'your mother abandoned you'," she said.

Some divorced women are even deprived of the right to see their child, according to "Marian," founder of the Tongqi Association.

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