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Chinese women married to gay men seeking annulments

A Chinese court report has claimed that increasing numbers of Chinese women who discover that they are married to gay men are seeking annulments to try and avoid the stigma associated with divorce.

Such women typically apply for annulments after accusing their husbands of infidelity, claimed the report, from the Beijing First Intermediate Court. Annulments mean the women become single again, rather than divorcees. Some claimed not to have had sex with their husbands during the marriage.

Chinese law does not allow automatic divorce if one partner is gay.

Hu Zhijun, the director of an organisation for gay people, said the trend highlighted a continuing stigma to attached to divorce in China.

“Behind the appeal to annul the marriage is discrimination against divorced people. If you are labelled as divorced, especially for women, you will suffer from societal pressure.”

Xu Bin, director of aBeijingorganisation for lesbians, agreed.

“The women’s appeal [to annul their marriages] shows that they think that divorced women are less valuable and are second-hand.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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