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Gay marriage put in spotlight
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21:13, October 08, 2007

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While their old school friends are walking up the aisle, China's homosexuals have been left on the shelf.

Despite the nation's rapid development, gay weddings are unimaginable for the majority of citizens.

But a new generation of scholars is challenging the idea that marriage can only ever be between a man and a woman.

Professor Li Yinhe, a sociologist and gay rights campaigner, is leading the call for marriage and other rights for the nation's 40 million homosexuals.

With any discussion of sex in public still deeply taboo, and homosexuals often ostracized, many people have been outraged by her proposals.

However, Professor Li has been echoed by Dr Zhang Beichuan, China's leading scholar of homosexuality.

Legal unions for homosexuals will lead to more stable same-sex relationships, notes Zhang, adding that they will also help better protect the legitimate rights of same sex lovers, especially the right to inherit their deceased partner's goods.

Countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa now recognize same sex marriage, according to Zhou.

Source: China Daily

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