Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, March 04, 2002

Homosexuals in China: More Tolerance, Less Prejudice

Farmer Huang Zhengfu, aged 60, from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was recently sentenced by a local court to a year's imprisonment for deliberately injuring his male lover Luo Zhongliang.


An ordinary case of deliberate injury
Farmer Huang Zhengfu, aged 60, from south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was recently sentenced by a local court to a year's imprisonment for deliberately injuring his male lover Luo Zhongliang.

The court verdict said that Huang and 25-year-old Luo Zhongliang, both from Bazhong Village, Tianlin County of Guangxi, privately became lovers although both men have wives.

Huang struck Luo with an ax during a lovers' quarrel. Luo was wounded in the back of his neck and in his right hand.

Luo sued Huang at the Intermediate People's Court of Bose Prefecture for malicious injury and Huang was found guilty by the court. In addition to the one-year imprisonment, Huang was also ordered to compensate the younger Luo with a certain sum of money.

The news of Huang and Luo being homosexuals spread quickly in the wake of the reporting of the court trial. Many local residents were shocked. They thought homosexuals were only found in major cities and overseas but certainly not in their village.

For the Intermediate People's Court of Bose Prefecture, it is the first criminal case concerning homosexuals ever handled by the court.

"As long as homosexuals do not create a negative impact on society, why not let them go their own way," questioned a local woman who has been married for ten years.

Lu Fangming with the Institute of Literature and History of the Guangxi Regional Academy of Social Sciences considers the homosexual case as an ordinary case of deliberate injury, in which Huang deliberately injured Luo, so must be punished.

Society shows more understanding
Many homosexuals have to keep their activities private and must take great caution for fear of violating Chinese tradition, admitted Lu, who added that today's society does show more tolerance and understanding toward homosexuals. China has officially recorded an increase in the number of recorded homosexuals each year, but Yin Dakui, vice minister of Health, said that no accurate number of the homosexuals in China has been recorded. He urges relevant departments and society to pay more attention to homosexuals.

Yang Jianbao, a sociologist, said that China's tradition advocates a harmony of Yin (feminine, negative) and Yang (masculine and positive), the two opposing principles in nature, homosexuals are often considered a marginal group whom some people link with crime and other antisocial behavior.

Dong Yongkun, secretary general of the China Association for Prevention and Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS, said, "most people believe that homosexuality and AIDS are closely connected, which has been proved right by surveys in the United States."

Li Yinhe, another scholar, believes that Chinese society has shown progress in no longer regarding homosexuality as a pathological phenomenon.

Though homosexuality is not listed as a criminal offense in Chinese law, China has been mounting a fight against various illegal activities connected with homosexuals.

In early January this year, four youngsters from Shenyang City in northeast China's Liaoning Province, were taken to court for blackmail after pretending to be homosexuals.

In Huaihua City of central China's Hunan Province, local police shut down an online service provider using the word "homosexuality " to spread pornographic pictures and articles.

Old Man Ordered to Apologize for Sexual Harassment of Male Workers
A local court in this capital of Hainan Province has ordered a 68-year-old man to apologize for harassing three young men he said were fellow homosexuals, and payeach of them one yuan for emotional suffering.

It is the first such harassment case in this southernmost province. (In Detail)

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