Last edited: December 11, 2004

Growing Tolerance Towards Homosexuals

China View, December 10, 2004

BEIJING, (Xinhuanet)—A recent survey reveals that male homosexuals in China have exceeded 5 million. It’s the first official statistics in China concerning the gay people.

Experts say the release of the figures indicates that China is now developing a more objective and tolerant attitude towards homosexuality. CRI reporter Xiaoyu has the story.

The World Health Organization has confirmed that homosexuality is a natural preference shared by a minority of people.

But in China, homosexuality has long been a sensitive and taboo topic.

Some homosexual behaviors were even considered violation of the Criminal Code before 1997 and homosexuality was listed among psychological diseases until 2001.

Professor Hu Peicheng is the secretary general of China Sex Study Association. He says it’s a social progress when homosexuality can be discussed openly.

“It’s actually conducive to the settlement of social problems brought about by homosexuality when we put it in public discussion.”

Although it now has been acknowledged as social existence, prejudice and discrimination against it are bringing potential menace, such as gay people committing suicide due to heavy social pressures, and high HIV infections among male homosexuals.

Chinese Government, scholars and many NGOs are working to lend a hand to homosexuals and help them stay physically and psychologically healthy.

More than 40 health centers have been established nationwide aimed at controlling the spread of HIV infection among homosexuals. Some big cities, like Shanghai and Beijing, have opened hotlines to offer consultation and mental support for homosexuals and publicize ways of preventing diseases.

As protective measures, online advice are available to give the needy more health information, and condom vending machines have been equipped in gay bars.

Secretary General of China Sex Study Association Hu Peicheng says these steps are signals that China’s accepting homosexuality.

“Regarding homosexuals, we should not make desperate efforts to change them or treat them. The key thing is to accept this homosexual group. Our society should accept the group and ensure they have the same life quality as other groups.”

Hu Peicheng says that tolerance is one sign of a civilized society. The increased tolerance of the Chinese public towards homosexuality reflects the progress in Chinese society and will eventually contribute to the stability and development of the country.

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