China Beats U.S. On Human Rights?
Is it possible that China could beat out the United States when it comes to the promotion of basic human rights? For most of us the answer seems very clear, “No way.” The U.S. promotes itself as the torch bearer when it comes to illuminating the path to equality, freedom, liberty and justice for all. The U.S., as concerns human rights, sees itself as a nation that blazes the trail, and not as a nation that trails the blazers (to borrow from Bill Cosby).
Well, according to Li Yinhe, China’s number one gay heroine/advocate, “If we, [China], can legalize same-sex marriage before America, that would be incredible- it would do a lot for China’s international image.” Why is Li Yinhe waxing optimistic? Simple, last month, after a decade of ardently campaigning, Li Yin He was able to get the Chinese government to formally acknowledge the same-sex marriage lobby as legitimate. Whether this lobby will culminate in a law legalizing same-sex marriage in China waits to be seen, but Li Yinhe recalls that back in 2006 a government official told her that such a law was “too advanced, too early;” implying that at some point the time would be right. What is of greater significance is what was not said; the official neither said that such a law could never happen in China, nor that such a law was out of line with Party policy or morality.
So yes, China could beat us when it comes to legally recognizing and protecting same-sex marriages. We would even venture to say that this is highly likely given the current political ambivalence (read: lack of balls) and the resulting “confusion” over the legal status of same-sex marriages in the U.S..