China faces two crucial test cases on gay and trans rights this week, as a couple seek the right to marry and a trans man argues a workplace discrimination case.
A court in the city of Changsha will hear arguments in the country’s first gay marriage case this week (April 13). Sun Wenlin (above, left), a 27 year-old IT specialist, will seek to overrule a local authority which denied him the right to marry his partner. Sun’s argument centres on the fact that Chinese law does not specify that marriage must be between a man and a woman, only between “one husband and one wife”, reports the Financial Times website.
“This is the first case of its kind in China,” Sun’s lawyer Shi Fulong told the FT. “A problem can’t be solved if no one knows about it,” he told the Financial Times.
On Monday, April 12, an employment arbitration panel heard a workplace discrimination case involving a trans man, known as ‘Mr C’. Mr C was fired for wearing male clothing.
“My sales job performance was in no way negatively affected by appearance. To fire me for this reason is to discriminate against me,” the plaintiff told a local newspaper. He is seeking financial compensation and an apology.
Homosexually was only officially decriminalised in China in 1997 and remained a “mental illness” until 2001. Last year, the China Television Drama Production Industry Association posted new guidelines which included a ban on showing queer relationships on TV.
In February, popular Chinese gay web series Addicted was suddenly banned from being broadcast online 12 episodes into a 15-episode season.
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