CHINA: Parents of gay kids demand anti-discrimination laws

Summary: Ten parents of gay children in China have sent a letter to the government calling for a gay-inclusive anti-discrimination law.

Dated March 8, the letter is addressed to the National People's Congress (NPC) and the People's Politcal Consultative Conference (PPCC).

The letter opens by saying the group estimates there are about 60 million gay people in China, this based on the 3 to 5% of the population being gay, and further assumes there are 120 million parents having gay children.

The letter details their pressing concern that there have been reports of a number of suicides based on the "tremendous psychological damage" gay kids face due to discrimination in schools and employment in the country, commenting that this leaves "home[s] broken and hope lost."

The letter goes on to ask that lawmakers move to enact an anti-discrimination law to remedy this serious issue.

They propose legislation that would prohibit discrimination "in [school] enrollment and employment" based on "race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, height, region, age, weight" and other personal characteristics.

The letter ends by highlighting that this kind of a law would be of benefit to all people.

Recent estimates suggest that 10 million Chinese women are married to gay men, and that about 80 to 90 percent of homosexual Chinese men plan to marry or have married women, according to a survey of 1,500 self-identifying gay men. The reasons for this are diverse and while cultural expectations on continuing the family legacy are cited as one main reason, another is the failure of the government to protect LGBT citizens.

The Chinese Government’s opinion on homosexuality has always been one of declared neutrality, however it has actively closed down attempts at gay pride events.

In somewhat related news, PFLAG China reportedly set up a hotline for parents of gay children last month in order to give them advice and support on how to best cope with having a gay-identifying child.


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