Wives Of Gay Men Could Get Chance To Be ‘Single’ Again

GayA court proposal is bringing new hope to women who unwittingly marry gay men.
In a report, the First Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing is calling for legislation to allow those who discover that their spouses are homosexual to file for annulment instead of divorce.
Current marriage law does not provide an “out” for such marriages and many wives view divorce unfavorably.
China has at least 10 million “gay wives,” according to leading sexologist Zhang Beichuan, adding that nearly 90 percent of gay men are already married to or will eventually marry heterosexual women.
After annulling their marriages, the legal marital status of the women in question would be restored to “single” instead of “divorced.”
The proposal will be advantageous for gay wives who do not wish to be labeled as divorcees, said “Tabitha,” a volunteer with the Tongqi Association, an online support group for wives of gay men.
“A divorced man in his 40s can still be sought after and find a 20-something woman to marry. But when it comes to a divorced woman of the same age, that is absolutely not the case,” said the 24-year-old Chinese woman, who has counseled scores of wives on the issue.
“Zheyi,” who was married to a gay man, ended her seven-year marriage a month ago.
“I’ve lost faith in love and marriage,” she said, adding that it is very difficult for a divorced 35-year-old woman to find a husband, especially in smaller cities where people are more conservative.
The different circumstances of divorced men and women reflect the oppression imposed on females by society, said Liu Bohong, a professor of gender studies. “Men traditionally intend to choose a first-time bride, a virgin. Such preferences have led to a preference for being ‘single’ among women themselves,” Liu said.
Although the proposed legislation is good news for the wives of gay men, it has caused a backlash from the gay community.
“I think allowing the wives of gay men to annul their marriages without providing support to their same-sex partners accordingly will squeeze us out,” said “Xiao Xiao,” a 24-year-old gay man.
More than 10 years after realizing his sexuality, the postgraduate student in Shanghai has not come out to his family. “The time is not ripe,” he said.
Chen Wei, a professor at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, said that the court’s suggestion deprives homosexuals of right to marry, adding that homosexuals’ desire to have families and children should be protected by law.
However, Liang Wenyong, a researcher at the China University of Political Science and Law, said: “In my opinion, homosexuals are obliged to tell their would-be spouses about their sexual orientation or the marriage will inevitably inflict pain on the heterosexual partner.” He added that he was in favor of legislation to help the unwitting heterosexual spouses.
“Getting married is like signing a contract. Both sides have the right to know,” Liang said. At the same time, the law should not interfere if gay people reveal their sexual orientation before marriage.
In China, gay men choose to marry and have children mainly due to pressure from parents and social traditions. Many Chinese believe continuing a family’s bloodline is an obligation for men.
Despite this pressure, gay men have no right to harm those who are also vulnerable, Liu said. “It’s unfair to save oneself by putting others at a disadvantage.”
from China.Org

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