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This Couple Is Trying To Organize 100 Same-Sex Marriages In China

They might have lost a groundbreaking marriage equality suit in court, but their story isn't over yet.

Last updated on June 1, 2016, at 12:04 p.m. ET

Posted on May 17, 2016, at 5:34 p.m. ET

Same-sex marriage has yet to be legalized in China. But if we put aside the sheet of government-issued paper, a handful of Chinese same-sex couples have tied the knot, exchanged kisses, and got blessing from families — and they've just been joined by this handsome set.

Str / AFP / Getty Images

If their faces are a little familiar to you, good eye! They made headlines last month when their challenge to the official interpretation of Chinese marriage law — the first lawsuit in China to do so — failed.

Gerry Shih / AP

But their love for each other is unstoppable. So Hu Mingliang, 37, and Sun Wenlin, 27, exchanged rings in front of a big supportive crowd during a wedding ceremony in a ballroom in Changsha, in central China's Hunan province, on Tuesday.

The two had been dating for almost two years; they met online and fell in love at first sight.
Str / AFP / Getty Images

The two had been dating for almost two years; they met online and fell in love at first sight.

It was deeply, deeply emotional, especially considering the societal pressures that gay couples still face in China.

Only 5% of gay people come out of the closet to their families, according to a newly released U.N. report on "being LGBTI in China." The report, which the U.N. claimed to be the most comprehensive LGBTI report about China currently available, also concluded that support for marriage equality among non-LGBT people in China at 85% — a number more positive than other surveys have found. A 2015 BuzzFeed News/Ipsos Poll found the number at only 29%.
Str / AFP / Getty Images

Only 5% of gay people come out of the closet to their families, according to a newly released U.N. report on "being LGBTI in China." The report, which the U.N. claimed to be the most comprehensive LGBTI report about China currently available, also concluded that support for marriage equality among non-LGBT people in China at 85% — a number more positive than other surveys have found. A 2015 BuzzFeed News/Ipsos Poll found the number at only 29%.

It was long-awaited moment and from the looks of their photos it was worth it.

Str / AFP / Getty Images

And probably the best part, is that their parents — the most important witnesses — were present. To the left is Hu's father, holding his son's arm, and the woman in sunglasses is Sun's mother.

“But I don’t plan on telling anyone in our village,” Hu's father told English-language Chinese website Sixth Tone after the ceremony. “People there don't know much about these kinds of things.” Sun's mother was more upbeat, telling the crowd to “be brave and tell your families that you are gay,” according to the Sixth Tone report.When Sun told his family he was gay at the age of 14, he said, his father was so angry that he kicked him to the ground. It took a long time before Sun's father agreed to talk to Hu for the first time, according to Chinese media Sohu News, when he said, "you two will be living on yourselves, take good care of each other."
Str / AFP / Getty Images

“But I don’t plan on telling anyone in our village,” Hu's father told English-language Chinese website Sixth Tone after the ceremony. “People there don't know much about these kinds of things.” Sun's mother was more upbeat, telling the crowd to “be brave and tell your families that you are gay,” according to the Sixth Tone report.

When Sun told his family he was gay at the age of 14, he said, his father was so angry that he kicked him to the ground. It took a long time before Sun's father agreed to talk to Hu for the first time, according to Chinese media Sohu News, when he said, "you two will be living on yourselves, take good care of each other."

The ceremony was just the first of 100 that they are planning to organize for same-sex couples across China.

On May 1, Sun launched an online crowdfunding project #100GayWeddings on Chinese social media Weibo and WeChat through a crowdfunding website, hoping that a gay wedding rally will raise social awareness and pave the road for full marriage equality in China.The fundraising for the first 10 wedding ceremonies is still ongoing and has raised $2,000 out of the goal of $12,000.
Str / AFP / Getty Images

On May 1, Sun launched an online crowdfunding project #100GayWeddings on Chinese social media Weibo and WeChat through a crowdfunding website, hoping that a gay wedding rally will raise social awareness and pave the road for full marriage equality in China.

The fundraising for the first 10 wedding ceremonies is still ongoing and has raised $2,000 out of the goal of $12,000.

"From a legal standpoint, my lover Hu Mingliang and I might not be a couple legally recognized by the People's Republic of China, but I think we should be!" wrote Sun in the fundraising pitch.

Who says love can't conquer everything?
Str / AFP / Getty Images

Who says love can't conquer everything?

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