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China's 'fake-marriage market' a growing trend

In China, gays and lesbians struggle to blend in with tradition.

By Kristin Wong Feb 7, 2013 11:01PM

In a culture where tradition is everything, same-sex relationships aren't exactly endorsed. In fact, in China, gay relationships on TV or in movies are often censored.

Thus, China's 'fake-marriage market' is a gathering in which gays and lesbians meet to organize heterosexual marriages.

Sham marriages are a growing issue in China. The country's gay population often find themselves coerced into traditional, opposite-sex marriages; Bloomberg reports that 16 million Chinese women are married to gay men. The country even has a title for these women: tongqi.

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Many of these wives have no previous knowledge of their husband's homosexuality and only realize their orientation after discovering pornography or extramarital affairs. Naturally, this often becomes a legal issue. In one example from a Chinese news outlet, a wife who realizes she's a fake seeks to receive compensatory damages after her divorce.

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A Qiang is a gay blogger who often writes about these fake marriages. He described the mindset behind the issue:

“Some homosexuals cannot face social prejudice and discrimination, so they hide their sexual orientation with a heterosexual marriage rather than be discriminated against; Chinese traditional culture emphasizes children and the continuation of the family line, and heterosexual marriage is a convenient way to get children; there is an inadequate, comprehensive social safety net, so some homosexuals enter heterosexual marriage for the sense of security."

Hence the birth of the "fake marriage market." Slate.com reporter Nicola Davison recently visited one of these gatherings in Shangai, where she quoted a man referenced as "No. 11:"

"I'm here to find a lesbian, to be with me and to build a home. In my view, a 30-year-old man should start thinking about having a family, but two men can't hold each other's hands in the street. We're not allowed to be a family."

Not all of these heterosexual marriages are intentionally fake, however. Qiang also points out that "many people do not understand their own sexuality at the time of marriage."

Bing: Donald Trump speaks out against gay marriage.

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Photo: @mr.jerry/Getty Images
Feb 19, 2013 11:11PM
im sick of all the attention gays and lesbians are getting! live your life like every other person in the world. private!! stop seeking press!!
Feb 19, 2013 8:37PM
Can we all please shut the hell up about gay marriage and gay rights. I don't personally believe there is anything good or practical about about being a homo-sexual but those are my beliefs. To each his own let God be the judge or (the sun and the moon) if you are an atheist. I know where I stand on the issue and so does God you all can deal with your own position in the same manner.  Maybe if we just give everyone the same rights under the law we will not have to hear about anyone's bedroom preferences all effing day long every day. It is time.... lets get it done and move on. Then maybe you all can shut up about what it takes to get off. Thank you!!!    
Feb 19, 2013 5:24PM
gay men should marry gay women then they know the score
Feb 19, 2013 4:43PM
If China let gay people be gay, their population control program would be enhanced by (1) gay people not actually making babies and (2) gay people adopting what babies there are without parents. Silly China.
Feb 19, 2013 3:10PM
seems like China has chosen the path of America today; place god in the back seat and do whatever our minds deem correct. Doesn't anybody believe in the bible anymore ? God created Adam & Eve,not Jack and Bill or Suzy & Linda. As a whole we need to go back to God.
Feb 19, 2013 2:52PM

What God Himself has called an abomination is not to be practiced.  It is no more acceptable for liars to lie, or thieves to steal, or murderers to kill than for homosexuals to engage in "gay" activities.


After "gay rights", what's next?  Child molester rights, rapist rights, beastiality rights??


Is there an end to the slide into immorality or shall we all degrade ourselves with every disgusting practice we can imagine?

Feb 19, 2013 1:30PM
Consider the author of this article and the subject, tabloid, silly, nearly meaningless,and poorly thought out, but she got paid how much per word for this dribble, and fill an empty place in a news companies endless search for the shallow sex related news, should have finished with a comment by kim kardashian and what she thought, maybe that exceeded her word count
Feb 19, 2013 11:02AM
for gays and lesbians life is easy in the sexual satisfaction world. They don't have to worry about making children and enjoy  orgasm more than normal married man and woman couples. Regular married couples have to worry about having more than one child in the Chinese world, and sexual satisfaction is poor, so the abundance of gays and lesbians are made because of starvation of orgasm in the normal married world. Sexual     experimentation in early life make the later gay and lesbian lifestyle  of young children very easily and many remain in their sexual lifestyle.
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