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Monday, August 19, 2019

Court challenge of China’s LGBTI content ban loses appeal

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Fan ChunLin challenged China censors ban of gay content (Photo: Provided)

A Beijing High Court on 3 April rejected an appeal against last year’s ruling that the country’s ban on LGBTI content is lawful.

Fan Chunlin challenged China Netcasting Service Association (CNSA)’s June 2017 decision to label homosexuality ‘abnormal sexual behavior’ and ban it from China’s internet.

He filed a case with the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court in January last year but lost his case in October.

Last week, the 30-year-old from Shanghai lost his final appeal.

In a statement, Fan said the verdict was no longer important.

‘What is important is that more and more people have learned about sexual minorities through this lawsuit’ he said.

‘From this point of view, our original intention has already been reached’.

Fan’s lawyer, however, said the verdict was ‘unsatisfactory’.

He said the June 2017 ruling did not comply with the government’s Information Disclosure Ordinance.

Civil challenges against China’s powerful government are rare.

Fan previously told Gay Star News he wanted to do his part for the LGBTI community in filing the case.

Another crackdown?

It comes as lesbian content mysteriously disappeared from China’s largest social media, Weibo.

China also last week announced an 8-month crackdown on pornography.

It said any ‘content that violates correct marriage and family ethics’ should be removed.

China legalized gay sex in 1997 and removed it from the list of mental illnesses in 2001.

But, in a conservative and family-orientated society, many LGBTI Chinese live in the closet. Same-sex marriage is also illegal.

China’s censors cut or altered at least 10 scenes of Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Scenes referencing Freddie Mercury’s bisexuality did not make it past censors.


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