Today’s China Daily, a state-owned English publication, has a story about the first public same-sex wedding ceremony in the country. Zeng Anquan and Pan Wenjie married 10 days ago at a gay bar. AFP notes that China Daily’s decision to run a story on the two men is significant, since same-sex marriages and civil unions aren’t actually legal in China:
State press splashed a front-page photo of China’s first publicly “married” gay couple on Wednesday — the latest sign of new openness about homosexuality in a country where it has long been taboo. […]
Homosexuality remains a sensitive issue in China. It was officially considered a form of mental illness as recently as 2001. Same-sex marriages or civil unions have no legal basis.
China has roughly 30 million gay men and women. The first government-backed gay bar opened last month “after a three-week delay sparked by intense media attention, in a bid to boost HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.”