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Elsie Liao (R) and Mayu Yu stand together in an alley outside the registry office where they asked to be married, before being turned away, in Beijing on February 25, 2013. Although not in a relationship together, the pair sought to draw attention to China's stance on same-sex marriage which is not recognised by law, the lack of access to social benefits available to couples, and to promote public awareness of discrimination against the LGBT community. China's government has an un-verified but widely reported 'three no's' policy towards homosexuality; no approval, no disapproval, no promotion. Same-sex acts were decriminalised in China in 1997, and homosexuality was removed from the country's mental illness list in 2001. As of June 2012 a 14-year-old ban was lifted allowing lesbians, although not gay men, to give blood. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)
25 Feb 2013
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