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Gay marriage is illegal in China. So here's what one couple is doing about it.

Even though they didn't get the outcome they hoped for, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang made history.

Gay marriage is illegal in China. So here's what one couple is doing about it.

Several hundred cheering supporters joined Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang at China's Furong District Court, ready to make history.

The two men held hands as they entered the court to argue that their love and marriage are just as valid as a straight couple's. They would be the first same-sex marriage case heard before a Chinese court.


Sun Wenlin (left) and his partner, Hu Mingliang, arrive at the Furong District Court in Changsha in central China's Hunan province on April 13, 2016. AP Photo/Gerry Shih.

Sadly, the judge ruled against them, dashing their hopes of becoming the first legally married same-sex couple in China.

A lower court agreed to hear their case — a lawsuit against Changsha city authorities who rejected their marriage application — back in January. Unfortunately, the couple's argument didn't hold much legal merit, as China bans same-sex marriage pretty explicitly.

"The original text of the Marriage Law does not say one man and one woman, but a husband and a wife. I personally believe that this term refers not only to heterosexual couples but also to same-sex couples," said Sun.

While marriage rights for same-sex couples aren't in the cards just yet, China's gay rights movement has been gaining momentum.

As recently as 2001, being gay was considered a mental disorder. And while it's legal to be gay in China, the societal pressure to conform to traditional gender and family roles remains heavy, keeping many in the closet.

Gay couples kiss in 2011 during a ceremonial wedding to raise awareness for same-sex marriage. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Still, recent years have seen increasingly bold demonstrations, pride parades, and other signs of progress.

Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images.

Globally, same-sex marriage is still a fairly new concept.

It wasn't until 2000 that a country (The Netherlands) granted full marriage rights equally to both same- and opposite-sex couples, and just last year the U.S. did the same.

Vin Testa supports same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court on April 28, 2015. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

If there's one thing we can learn from the gay rights movement around the world, it's that persistence pays off.

Sun and Hu plan to appeal the ruling. Their case has no doubt set the stage for something big. Maybe they won't win, but at very least, progress has been put in motion. Whenever same-sex marriage does come to China, these two brave men need to be among the pioneers remembered for their work.

Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images.

Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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via Jimivr / Flickr and Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Actress Billie Lourd paid tribute to her late mother Carrie Fisher on Tuesday by sharing a photo of her son Kingston watching Fisher as Princess Leia in 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope."

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Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less