A district court in Changsha, Hunan province, ruled against a gay couple in China’s first same-sex marriage lawsuit on the 13th of April. Sun Wenlin and his partner Hu Mingliang sued the local Bureau of Civil Affairs (民政局), which is in charge of marriage registration, after the latter rejected their request for a marriage certificate last summer. To the surprise of the couple and their lawyer, the court accepted their case in January, allowing them to argue for their rights. Hundreds of supporters gathered outside on the day of the ruling to support the couple, and the authorities let one hundred of them inside to hear the proceedings. Yet the case was dismissed in a few hours.
“The original text of the Marriage Law does not say one man and one woman, but a husband and a wife,” Mr. Sun said in an earlier interview. “I personally believe that this term refers not only to heterosexual couples but also to same-sex couples.” As for the results of the court decision, the couple is not satisfied. “We will appeal this decision” says Mr. Sun.