In June 2017, China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television introduced a regulation banning online audiovisual content portraying “abnormal sexual relations or behavior,” including incest and sexual violence – and homosexuality.
Now, in a surprise move, a Beijing court will hear a legal challenge to the regulations from a member of the Chinese public.
Attorney Tang Xiangqian, who is representing Fan Chunlin of Shanghai in the case by, told the state-run Global Times that, though their chances of winning are small, he and his client hope the case will raise awareness of LGBT+ issues and promote acceptance of LGBT people in Chinese society.
Homosexuality was illegal in China until 1997, and social attitudes toward LGBT+ people remain relatively regressive.
Observers expect the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court to hand down a verdict in the case within six months.