Gays in China push for guardianship agreement as result of Taiwan progress

Loophole in civil code allows Chinese gays to register for health and inheritance issues

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The Beijing LGBT Center.

The Beijing LGBT Center. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following Taiwan’s legalization of same-sex marriage, gays in China are hoping to push for guardianship agreements to boost their visibility.

The Chinese government has openly said it would not follow in Taiwan’s footsteps, while a more repressive attitude toward gay rights has emerged.

Yet, local activists hope that the movement can advance if gays apply for “guardianship agreements” which offer safeguards in the event of health problems and inheritance issues, the Central News Agency reported.

The Beijing LGBT Center non-governmental organization emphasized that a new civil code issued in 2017 allowed individuals to choose another person to serve as guardian in the event of serious illness or death. While designed to serve the elderly, the measure offered gays a way to give their relationship a legal basis, activists said.

Same-sex couples in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing registered under the new law, but the authorities avoided publicizing the fact to keep a low profile, CNA reported.

The Beijing LGBT Center wanted to help more same-sex couples join the program and then collect data nationwide to let the Chinese authorities see how large the country’s gay community really was.

Acceptance of gays was growing, with Taiwanese television programs and support from singers and actors having played a role before the island’s legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this year gave the movement a major push forward, CNA quoted Beijing LGBT activist Duan Shuai as saying.