China: A district court in south-central China’s Hunan province has said that it will not proceed with a lawsuit lodged by 20-year-old man against authorities in the provincial capital Changsha for rejecting his application to register a gay rights group, reports Beijing-based news portal Caixin Online.
The activist, Xiang Xiaohan, founded grassroots group Same-Sex Love Assistance Network in 2009, and initially registered the organization as a business. However, after the Changsha civil affairs bureau adjusted its regulations on social organizations’ registrations, it became possible for his group to register with local civil affairs authorities.
Xiang applied for the group’s registration in November last year but the application was turned down by the Changsha bureau. Xiang immediately requested a written explanation and was told that gay rights groups were not allowed to register as current laws do not recognize same-sex marriages and there is thus “no legal basis” for his organization. In the letter sent to Xiang, the bureau also criticized homosexual relations as a violation of “traditional Chinese culture, the social construction of morality,” according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.
Xiang decided to file the lawsuit against the department after receiving the letter and has demanded a formal apology from the officials.
However, the Kaifu district court in Changsha has chosen not to proceed with the case after an number of errors were found in the lawsuit complaint. Xiang will now file an appeal with the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court of Hunan, Caixin said.