of Service to Asia's
Gay & Lesbian Community!
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Homosexuality and the Law in China
by Wan Yan Hai, Scholar at the Center for Feminist Research, University of
Actually no law against homosexuality in the document in China, but we
can't say homosexuality is legal in China. The reasons are below:
- China is not a country by law but by military and police force.
- There are much room for administration punishment in China for any kind
of sexual minorities.
- There is no law in document against homosexuality, because the law
maker thought there was no gay in China, but there are some provision
named as hooligan which explanation include sodomy.
- For sodomy, there are two law systems in China, one is criminal law
which is changed this year, another is social security administrative
punishment. In the explanation of the law maker in 1984 about
homosexuality, sex in public, group sex, sex by force or sex with child
break the crimimal law. But the explanation about homosexuality legal
position was quite unclear, abd allow much room for administration
- For such situation, because China is huge and the law is not clear,
different provinces or cities government espcially the police department
may have different understanding according to the habits in the history or
the need of crackdown movements, and the feelings of the officials about
- In China, for crime of sex, psychiatrists can play some role in
distingushing crime hooligans or mental disorders. In some situation,
doctors protect gay people or other sexual minorities, but in other
occations, doctors hate gay and think homosexuality should be punished by
law, because they think gay people are conscious enough. Even sometimes,
gay people instited they were conscious about what they were doing.
- There are numerous social crackdown movements in China for the
important conferences, big events, 6.4, hard attack, attacking
prostitution. Each movements, gay people become victims of the politics.
- People are often talking about private act and public act. If law
doesn't attack private sex act, people will think that gay will have more
space. But in China, people especially gay people, don't have enough space
for private act. Some heterosexual couple have sex in the public in
Shanghai before in know.
- No special definition about sex in public. It means sexual minorities
in the public or sex in public, it is not clear. Many of the times, police
catch gay people just according to who is walking on the gay communicatin
areas, such as parks or gardens.
- The Chinese criminal law system was different from the West. But the
law will be changed this year.
- Gay harassment are common in cities or rural areas in China. Although
there are more tolerance than before, you can't image that this country
will be much tolerent soon towards gay & lesbian, bi person or
- I do agree that the Chinese society or the government will understand
and respect gay people in the future but that will be a long way and
painful process to go.
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