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Gay wedding reflects growing tolerance in China

(Xinhua)

15:46, October 20, 2012

FUZHOU - A public gay wedding held in East China's Fujian province earlier this month reflects growing tolerance for homosexuality, according to sociologists and gay rights activists.

Lu Zhong, 24, and his partner Liu Wangqiang, 20, held a high-profile wedding ceremony on October 2 in Zherong county in the city of Ningde.

The ceremony, reportedly the first of its kind in Fujian, was attended by around 60 friends and relatives. The event also attracted thousands of local residents.

"We just want to form a family and maintain a long-term relationship," Lu said.

Lu and Liu's marriage is not legally recognized in China, where homosexuality has long been taboo.

The wedding, however, did cause a stir on Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site, after Lu announced the news. Some netizens criticized the couple, but many showed support.

Sociologists and gay rights activists said the courageous and controversial move was justified, adding that the wedding reflects society's growing inclusiveness.

"The wedding shows that Chinese society has become more open-minded and tolerant of homosexuality and gay marriage," said Li Yinhe, a sexologist from Beijing.

She said the sexual revolution in the West has made Chinese people more tolerant of homosexuality in their own country.

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