[JURIST] A judge in Changsha, China, on Wednesday refused to allow a same-sex couple to register as married. The two men attempted to register their marriage [BBC report] last June. After being denied, the couple filed the lawsuit in December. The judge decided [JURIST report] to hear China’s first legal challenge over a refusal to issue same-sex marriage applications in January. A now 27-year-old man, Sun Wenlin, filed a case [Telegraph report] against a civil affairs bureau for refusing to grant a marriage application to him and his same-sex partner. China legalized homosexuality in 1997, but same-sex marriage is not legal [SCMP report], and same-sex couples have no legal protections. After the verdict, Sun announced the couple will appeal the verdict and challenge the language of China’s marriage law [NPR report], despite pressure to abandon the case.
The issue of same sex marriage continues to be a controversial international issue. In February the Supreme Court of India agreed to review its 2013 decision reinstating an 1861 law prohibiting sex between consenting adults of the same sex [JURIST report]. In January the Supreme Court of Mexico struck down language [JURIST report] in a Jalisco state law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. A same-sex couple in Northern Ireland filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in November to challenge the same-sex marriage ban, arguing that reducing their marriage to a civil partnership is unlawful discrimination. The same month, the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that same-sex couples can legally adopt children because allowing [JURIST report] same-sex couples to form a family upholds equality and is in the best interest of children and teens.