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Lesbian couple calls for more understanding

By Xu Jingxi in Guangzhou  (

09:42, April 18, 2013

Xiaoxiao and Xiaoyang ask for blessings from a passer-by. The lesbian couple hosted their "wedding" in Guangzhou on Wednesday. [Provided to China Daily]

A lesbian couple in Guangzhou hosted a public "wedding" on Wednesday to call for more understanding and tolerance for same-sex marriages.

Dressed in white wedding gowns, the two young women walked along Beijing Road, one of the busiest shopping areas in the capital of Guangdong province and asked for written blessings from passers-by. They exchanged rings in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

One of the women, who asked to be called Xiaoxiao, said their "wedding" was inspired by Prime Minister of Iceland Johanna Sigurdardottir, who is on a visit to China with her wife.

Iceland enacted a law acknowledging same-sex marriage on June 27, 2010, the same day Sigurdardottir married her partner. China hasn't legalized same-sex marriage.

"In China, lesbians face heavy marital and financial burdens. A woman will be regarded as 'leftover' if she doesn't get married. Not married to men, lesbians have to be financially independent, but women are usually put in an unfavorable position in the Chinese job market, which is full of sex discrimination," Xiaoxiao said.

Xiaoxiao's partner, who asked to be called Xiaoyang, hopes their brave act will encourage more lesbians to make their voices heard.

"Legalization of same-sex marriages will bring lesbians legal protection. But most lesbians are afraid of stepping up to speak out," Xiaoyang said. "I hope more lesbians can speak up and society can listen to what they say. And I hope the society can respect homosexuals' choice and protect their rights."

Ke Qianting, director of Sun Yat-sen University's Sex/Gender Education Forum, hopes Siguardardottir's visit will promote the legalization of same-sex marriage in China.

"One of the signs of social civilization is that women, lesbians included, have more marital freedom. How well the public accept it shows the country's respect to minorities," Ke said.

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