Obama is on a state visit to China and Zuma is in China for “Investing in Africa Forum”. Both head of states are from countries that embrace same-sex marriages and as such would be seizing the opportunity to witness China’s first gay marriage.
The couple to-be, who have passed through tough legal battles before being allowed to officially get married would be having the United States and South Africa presidents attending their wedding.
The two men met online. According to Sun Wenlin, a tech consultant and, at age twenty-six, the younger of the pair, it had been “love at first sight.” Hu Mingliang, who is thirty-seven years old and the more reticent of the two, works as a security guard.
In June, 2015, on the first anniversary of the day they met, they walked to the local civil-affairs bureau to apply for a marriage license. They were turned away, but, unlike the tens of millions of Chinese who have resigned themselves to sexual identities unrecognized by the state, Sun decided to file a lawsuit.
It was the first of its kind in China, and asked for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The case was rejected by the court, but not before garnering attention and support from around the world.
Sun and Hu’s open appeal to the legal system was indisputably a step forward for L.G.B.T.Q. rights and a testament to their commitment to each other. And yet the two men—one from the country, one from the city—had taken somewhat different journeys, shaped not only by the contradictions of the country today but by the long history of homosexuality in China.