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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

World

Two elderly men get 'married' in China
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, February 01, 2013
First Published: 19:52 IST(1/2/2013)
Last Updated: 00:47 IST(2/2/2013)

Same sex marriages are not recognised in China. But that didn’t stop two elderly men coming from widely diverse backgrounds from not only getting hitched but doing so live online.

In the process the two made China’s online community crackle at their chemistry.

A retired teacher, known as Dabao, from Beijing and labourer, Xiaobao, from rural China met when the latter began to deliver drinking water to his home.

Love blossomed. And in January, the two started uploading photographs on the internet. Photographs that revealed their intimacy including those showing them affectionately hugging and kissing each other; in one, one is wearing a bridal dress.

According to website Tea Leaf Nation, which tracks China’s online trends, the couple posted a video with their declaration of love, addressing those attacking their relationship.

The video was shared on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter under the handle “Love Between Two Old Guys.”

“The two of us are old men. But a little bit of romantic love happened between us. Just a little bit. So what? What does our love have to do with you? America is giving out marriage licenses to gay lovers. We are not even lovers. We are not there yet. Why are you against it? We are just kissing. What’s the big deal? We are just good together… Don’t be so stubborn. Don’t be so closed-off,” the retired teacher said, according to translation by the website.

“I love you, little baby,” his partner said.

Many supported them. But there were also many who left comments on microblogs against the two.

Though they did get married this week, the online broadcast was interrupted by the son of one of the men. The angry old man’s update on the Chinese microblog was shared more than 10000 times and attracted more than 7770 comments. 

“Our wedding was going along smoothly and happily, but my son, who is an animal, disrupted the event, flipping tables and shooing away guests. His actions stripped away our dignity and deeply pained us,” wrote the father.

Li Yinhe, sociologist and sex expert told the state-run Global Times newspaper that the couple's behavior contributes to the visibility of gay groups.

“It also proves social pressure isn't so strong and public tolerance is improving," said Li.

"In China, most people are in the middle position, neither absolutely for nor against [same-sex marriage],” Li said.


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