Iceland PM’s visit inspires China lesbian couple to ‘marry’

Beijing: Busy shoppers in Guangzhou city of South China were surprised on Wednesday to see a lesbian couple seeking their blessings as they held their wedding. The couple said they were inspired by this week’s China visit of Iceland Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, a self-proclaimed lesbian who is engaged in a same-sex marriage.

The girl couple, dressed in flowing white gowns, exchanged rings in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral, and held signs with pro-gay slogans, the Chinese media reported. They also asked the passersby to be tolerant about same-sex marriage and extend their wishes.

The Iceland leader’s visit prompted the lesbian couple to make a public show of their relationship hoping the government would maintain a diplomatic silence over the Guangzhou show. The gamble seemed to pay off because there are no reports of any government action so far.

Same-sex marriages are not legal in China where homosexuality was considered a mental illness until 2011 and a crime prior to 1997. But thousands of homosexual couples now live together, and some of them have entered into informal marriage arrangements.

Another form of mutual arrangement in vogue is for a lesbian woman to marry a gay man to exhibit a straight husband-wife relationship to family and friends but continuing to practise their sexual preferences on the sly.

“In China, lesbians face heavy marital and financial burdens,” Xiaoxiao, one of two girls in the Guangzhou ‘marriage’ was quoted as saying by China Daily. “Legalization of same-sex marriages will bring lesbians legal protection,” said Xiaoxiao’s ‘wife’, Xiaoyang.

“But most lesbians are afraid of stepping up to speak out. I hope more lesbians can speak up and society respects homosexuals’ choice and protects their rights,” she said.

Saibal Dasgupta, TNN
Source – The Times of India