Despite Court Ruling, China Gay Rights Movement Makes Gains

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CHANGSHA, China — For years, Chen Tiantian could only read about the gay rights movement in faraway places. She knew that there were activists in Beijing and a vibrant community in Shanghai, and that in San Francisco, a distant mecca, gay pride parades took up entire streets.

But on Wednesday, the 20-year-old English major sat on the steps of a courthouse and spoke fervently about how the struggle for equality had arrived in her central Chinese hometown — and how she planned to take part.

"It's hard to believe, but we're right in the middle of this," said Chen, who came with several friends to support a local couple who had challenged the city's civil affairs bureau after they were denied a marriage certificate. "It's like I'm finally entering the struggle myself."


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