China responds to gay marriage ruling with support and fears of human extinction

By Ella Wong, June 29, 2015

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Over the weekend, many of us saw our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds awash in rainbow colors as people around the world took to social media to celebrate the US Supreme Court’s historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Social media users in China were also sharing and 赞ing (liking) the news on Weibo, where Chinese netizens were quick to note that in his majority opinion legalizing same-sex marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy quoted from the Book of Rites: “Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government.”

In China, progress on LGBTQ rights has been a bit of a mixed bag in recent years, with an official line to "not encourage, not discourage and not promote." But the issue has certainly been gaining greater visibility. Last year, when a British diplomat shared photos of his same-sex wedding on the lawn of the British ambassador’s residence in Beijing on Weibo, the post was forwarded over 30,000 times. And earlier this month, the Mainland’s largest and longest-running Pride festival celebrated its seventh year in Shanghai.

Pioneering sociologist and sexologist Li Yinhe’s opinion piece on Sina asking, “When will China allow same-sex marriage?” garnered over 37,000 comments.

Chinese netizens' reactions on Weibo to the victory for marriage equality in the US have largely been supportive, with many emphasizing the importance of freedom (自由), equality (平等) and progress (进步).

何处春江无月明:多么伟大的进步!同性恋自由

What a huge step forward! Freedom for gays.

Several shared YouTube’s LGBTQ-affirming Proud to Love video, which had been helpfully subtitled, filmed on a phone and uploaded onto the unblocked Chinese Internet using Sina’s video app Miaopai.

“The video is incredibly moving, every kind of love deserves to be respected,” read one post, which was shared 8176 times and liked 7047 times.

Chinese respond to gay marriage ruling

 

Some brought up issues that are particularly relevant in China, where pressure from parents to marry and have a family lead many gay Chinese to hide their true identities:

请叫我丘先森:支持同性婚姻并不是鼓励人们去做同性恋,而是鼓励同性恋站出来,勇敢做自己,不必骗婚或和自己不爱的女孩子结婚,憋屈自己一辈子,毁掉双方的一辈子。

Supporting gay marriage isn’t encouraging people to be gay, but is encouraging gay people to stand up and bravely be themselves, and not enter into a sham marriage or marry a girl they don’t love, holding themselves back for a lifetime and destroying two people’s lives.

Others called on their country to join the club of 21 nations that now allow gays to wed.

中国也快点吧

Hurry up, China.

Commenting on the People’s Daily’s post about the historic ruling, there was also some snark directed at state media:

 话痨传染病携带者是怪阿姨:你又不答应你发这干啥

You don’t accept it; what are you doing posting this?

As well as (what we hope is) sarcasm:

 小小拳霸:美帝何时人兽合法?

When will the American imperialists legalize bestiality?

But while they were few and far between, dissenting opinions could certainly be found, such as this eloquently expressed and expertly punctuated screed defending the right to be a bigot:

EcHaru:本人的立场一直都是反对同性恋,这有错吗???你们都有支持的权利,我们就不能反对了?反对同性恋反对同性恋反对同性恋

My opinion has always been against same-sex marriage, is that wrong??? You all have the right to support it, can we not oppose it? Against same-sex marriage against same-sex marriage against same-sex marriage

However, in a country that lacks the socially conservative religious fervor of the US, Chinese opponents of same-sex marriage aren’t clutching their pearls and predicting Biblical retribution for desecrating the Constitution with filth and santorum. Instead they mostly worry about a decline in the birthrate, which seems to be a rather misplaced concern for a country that has enacted draconian policies to keep its population down for almost three decades.

lilichunchun:看似自由平等。但已经违背了自然规律,无法繁殖下一代,人类即逐步走向灭亡~这也是地球发展需要的规律吧,正需要人越来越少

It seems like freedom and equality. But it violates natural laws. Unable to reproduce the next generation, the human race will gradually become extinct.

Happily, there was plenty of pushback from saner, more tolerant minds.

微笑的Acis:人生而有的自由,包括爱谁和被谁爱。没有人能干涉他人的自由,因为你不能替别人过生活!我很好奇那些歇斯底里不接受的人,别人吃你的饭喝你的水花你的钱了?还是人家找到了真爱,刺激到你可悲的生活了?动辄觉得与自己不同便视为异端的人,生活和见识、是该多么狭窄。

People’s freedom includes who they love and who loves them. No one can interfere with someone else’s freedom because you can’t live someone else’s life! I’m really curious about those hysterical people who don’t accept. Have other people eaten your food, drank your water, spent your money? Or is it that someone else finding true love has upset your pathetic life? People who see those who are different as heretical must have terribly narrow lives and mindsets.

Someone even pointed out that if you think the homosexual agenda is a menace to society, the fact that you can say so on the Internet is in no small part thanks to one gay man in particular:

月影舞狂:为现代电子计算机的创造、研制作出重大贡献的英国数学家阿兰.图灵,人工智能的鼻祖,同性恋。没有他,就没有今天电脑,更没有互联网。 所以给人方便,就是给自己方便。自由应该给所有的人----只要没有危害他人。

The man who made an enormous contribution to computer science and the father of artificial intelligence, English mathematician Alan Turing, was gay. Without him there would not be today’s computers or the Internet.

Ultimately:

哎呦听妈妈的話哟:有情人终成眷属

Love will find a way.

 

SEE ALSO: Chinese comments on Caitlyn Jenner are really positive, almost entirely about the Olympics

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