China lawmakers push for gay marriage
Updated: 2006-03-03 19:05
Rural development and currency reform are the hot issues at China's annual
session of parliament opening this week, but some delegates have quirkier
matters on their minds.
Members of the Chinese People's Political
Consultative Conference, China's top advisory body, arrive at the Capital
International Airport in Beijing March 1, 2006. The advisors are here to
attend the annual CPPCC session scheduled to convene Friday.
Li Yinhe, a sociologist and member of the advisory
body to parliament, plans to submit a proposal on same-sex marriage, aiming to
end discrimination against homosexuality.
Li has submitted the proposal twice before, but it failed to gain the minimum
support of 30 fellow members in the 2,000 group, the Xinhua news agency
reported on Friday.
Li admitted that the "cultural environment in the country is not yet prepared
for such a proposal".
But she argued that allowing gay marriage would promote stable relationships
and safe sex that could help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Chen Guiyun, a deputy to the parliament from the southwestern province of
Sichuan, is calling for legislation to ban smoking in public places, shocked by
the fact that nearly half of China's 1.3 billion people suffer from passive
smoking, Xinhua said.
Chinese are the world's largest consumer of cigarettes, with about 350
million smokers, and tobacco kills 1.2 million people in the country a year.