China: Gay man sues for right to marry

A court has accepted China's first same-sex marriage case, lodged by a gay man against a civil affairs bureau for denying him the right to marry, in a decision hailed as a step forward for gay rights. While homosexuality is not illegal in China, and large cities have thriving gay scenes, same-sex marriage is not legal and same-sex couples have no legal protections.

A court in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, accepted the lawsuit filed by Sun Wenlin: "Our marriage law says there is the freedom to marry and gender equality. These words can be applied to same-sex marriage."

Activists said the court's acceptance of the case was significant and would likely lead to more such cases. "In China, courts often reject politically sensitive cases, so the fact that the lawsuit is accepted signals some official willingness to address discrimination against LGBT people, which is encouraging," said Maya Wang, a China researcher at New York-based group Human Rights Watch.  Read more via Channel News Asia