Lesbian Couple Tries To Marry In China

Wedding official retreats into a back room after facing a wedding request from Mayu Yu and Elsie Liao.

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ED JONES / Getty Images

Elsie Liao, right, and Mayu Yu kiss in an alley outside the registry office where they asked to be married, before being turned away, in Beijing on February 25, 2013.

Mayu Yu and Elsie Liao tried to marry Monday at the Dongcheng District Marriage Registry in Beijing. After their application was denied, they questioned the official about his views on same-sex couples' marriage rights until he retreated into a back room, they told the South China Morning Post.

Simon Song and Hedy Bok made a video about Yu and Liao's experience, where they called on other couples to follow their example.


In a column published on Wednesday, South China Morning Post senior writer Alex Lo said they were just the latest to push the marriage issue, a sign that LGBT advocacy is becoming much easier in the country.

What is interesting, perhaps, is that it was the two lovers who badgered the hapless official and berated him for ignoring their request, rather than the other way round. He reportedly retreated into a back room to escape their ire.... It may demonstrate an increasing openness and tolerance for homosexuality on the mainland where gay couples can, at least in cosmopolitan cities like Beijing, be open about their sexuality.

The latest incident followed another case in which an elderly male couple posted intimate photos and video clips of themselves on the internet and then hosted a wedding banquet with two dozen friends at a Beijing restaurant to celebrate their "marriage". But the son of one of the partners was so upset by the spectacle that he disrupted the banquet and smashed up the place.

J. Lester Feder is a BuzzFeed contributor and 2013 Alicia Patterson journalism fellow.

J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211

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