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Homosexuality and the Law in China

    by Wan Yan Hai, Scholar at the Center for Feminist Research, University of Southern California
Actually no law against homosexuality in the document in China, but we can't say homosexuality is legal in China. The reasons are below:
  1. China is not a country by law but by military and police force.
  2. There are much room for administration punishment in China for any kind of sexual minorities.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 punishment.
  5. 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 homosexuality.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The Chinese criminal law system was different from the West. But the law will be changed this year.
  11. 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 transgenders.
  12. 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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