Gay Chinese couple Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang have lost a legal battle against officials who denied the couple a marriage certificate.
In a statement on its website, Furong district court in Changsha said that “China’s law and regulation on marriage clearly stipulate that the parties in a marriage area man and a woman, and the registration application filed by the two men obviously does not meet the requirement.” The court dismissed the case in just a few hours.
Sun Wenlin, who is the plaintiff on the case, said that the ruling is “unjust and unfair.” Sun’s lawyer Shi Funong says that they expected the decision and they plan to appeal the ruling.
“It goes against the spirit of the laws of the People’s Republic of China,” Funong said.
Sun says that if the appeal is rejected, and his partner will file their marriage application every year on June 23 (the day he and his partner met) until their marriage is legally recognised.
Despite the disappointing result, the case is still being regarded as a win by some LGBT activists in the country, the BBC reports.
Although China does not legally recognise same-sex marriage, some argue that the fact that the Furong district court heard the case at all (a first in China) is a huge step forward.
Moreover, around 300 people showed up to support the couple at their hearing, as support for same-sex relationships appears to be growing in the country.