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This Marriage Proposal Shows How Far China Has Come On Talking About Gay Rights

When the prime minister of Iceland visited China in 2013, her wife was "erased" by the Chinese media. Things have definitely changed since then.

Posted on October 2, 2015, at 6:45 p.m. ET

This week on the overcrowded Beijing subway's Line One — one of the least romantic places on the Earth — a romantic scene won the hearts of everybody.

Watch: Gay marriage proposal on Beijing subway goes viral #LGBT #China

"I love you," a man said, kneeling down in front of another man and holding a blue box. "Today, I want to tell everyone that knows me or not, that I'll be loving you for every second in the rest of my life."

And the crowd went wild.

This adorable video of a gay marriage proposal in China has gone super viral

The entire proposal was captured with a commuter's smartphone and uploaded onto Weibo. From the video, we can hear the crowd shouting, "Kiss! kiss!", "Be together!" and "say yes!"

View this video on YouTube

Although everybody knows that the proposal won't lead to any official recognition — same-sex marriage is not yet legalized in China — thousands of internet users still poured onto Weibo to congratulate them.

"[I] feel sincere happiness that nobody in the video showed any doubt or resentment," a Weibo user commented. "And the cheering, the applause, that's the best." The video's Weibo hashtag has been clicked for over 12 million times.

Nevertheless, some questioned the authenticity of the moment. The main contention is that the proposal happened on a newly-decorated rainbow-themed train sponsored by a Chinese news app.

An advertisement of the app, Yi Dian Zi Xun (meaning, "a little bit information"), can be found in almost all the photos posted online, pointed out a news report in Chinese. The couple hasn't also hasn't been identified in any report.

The name of the news app was mentioned in about a dozen versions of story written by different Chinese media outlets. And before creating the trending hashtag, the Weibo user just posted some photos of another train that's decorated in a different theme, still sponsored by the same news app.

The app did not reply to BuzzFeed News' interview request by press time.

Whether or not the proposal was legit, it exposed a shift in how the Chinese media covers the idea of marriage equality.

Man proposes to man, Beijing subway car happens to be in rainbow colors. Gay marriage illegal in #China (web pic)

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court approved same-sex marriage in June, China, a country with a reputation for media censorship, has seemingly lowered the bar for talking about gay issues.

Unexpectedly, China's state-run media, including Xinhua, People's Daily online, Reference News, China Youth Daily, all posted about the proposal. Although this Xinhua tweet emphasized "illegal," the fact that the same country that once completely erased the wife of Icelandic prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir during a visit would allow the tweet to go out at all is a seemingly big step.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.