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Judge rules against couple in China’s first same-sex case

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CHANGSHA — A judge today ruled against a gay couple in China’s first same-sex marriage case that attracted several hundred cheering supporters to the courthouse and was seen as a landmark moment for the country’s emerging LGBT rights movement.

The court in the central city of Changsha rejected the suit brought against the local civil affairs bureau for refusing to issue the couple a marriage registration certificate.

The couple’s lawyer Shi Fulong said he expected the judge would rule against them but not so soon within just a few hours. “It goes against the spirit of the laws of the people’s republic of China,” Shi said.

Plaintiff Sun Wenlin said he would appeal until he exhausts all legal options.

The lawsuit comes amid growing awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in China, where society and the government have generally frowned on non-traditional expressions of gender and sexuality.

China doesn’t legally recognize same-sex marriage and officials with the central government have said they do not see the law changing soon.

Sun, his partner Hu Mingliang, and the lawyer entered Changsha’s Furong District courthouse today morning amid cheers from roughly 300 supporters, some of whom had waited outside since 5 am or traveled overnight from neighboring provinces.

Court officials allowed in about 100 spectators and then pleaded with fervent college students that the courtroom was full and that they had to turn others away.

Sun said the police had earlier visited him at the apartment he shares with Hu to try to talk him out of pursuing the lawsuit, but left after he reiterated his determination to press forward with the case.

“I hope I can pave the way as far and wide as possible so that people who want to do the same will see how much we have tried and what possibilities can there be,” Sun, 26, told The Associated Press in an interview the night before the hearing.

While homosexuality is not illegal in China, the country’s LGBT movement is still in its infancy and it is rare for same-sex couples to live openly.

AFP

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Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.

The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.

Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.

Transportation has also been halted.

Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.

Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.

The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.

Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

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