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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 8, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 10
PFLAG China calls for marriage equality
Section One
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PFLAG China calls for marriage equality

People's Congress urged to legalize same-sex marriage

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Chinese chapter of PFLAG has sent a letter to that nation's National People's Congress asking that same-sex marriage be legalized. The People's Congress, China's highest legislative body, convened on March 5 for its 2013 session.

'Some of our children have been living with their partners for nearly 10 years. They love each other. But they cannot sign their names legally when their partners need an operation,' said the letter.

'As their parents, we are often worried as homosexuals cannot legally get married, so they would meet difficulties when adopting a child ...'

According to the English-language China Daily newspaper, the letter was signed by more than 100 parents of Lesbian or Gay children.

PFLAG China previously protested anti-Gay discrimination in adoption, publicly criticizing a statement by the China Center of Adoption Affairs that Lesbian and Gay couples should not be able to adopt children because same-sex attraction is a type of 'sexual disorder' and that it leads to 'behavior contrary to public morality.'

SCHOOLBOOK PROTEST
Last August, PFLAG China parents wrote a letter to the Hangzhou City Department of Education in response to a sex education book labeling same-sex attraction a 'sexual deviation.' In the letter, the group highlighted a number of discriminatory statements in the book, including the assertion that same-sex attraction is an 'acquired abnormal sexual behavior' that can be prevented or treated.

The Chinese Society of Psychiatry declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 2001, the group pointed out.

China Daily covered the controversy and quoted the book's editor suggesting that the publisher remove the 'controversial' statements.

PFLAG China was founded in the city of Guangzhou in June 2008. Although it is independent of PFLAG in the U.S., it has a similar mission: 'promoting understanding between homosexuals and their families, eliminating discrimination against Gays, and advocating equal civil rights for them,' according to its English-language website.

The group's director, Ah Qiang, believes that its work 'has a strong relationship to improving the health of young LGBT people, pointing to research showing that family acceptance can significantly reduce the risk of depression, suicide, and even HIV transmission among Gay youth.'

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