A lesbian couple in Guangzhou, China, hosted a wedding in a busy shopping area Wednesday, asking passers-by for tolerance and words of blessing for the same-sex couple, reports China Daily.
China does not recognize same-sex marriage, but the couple told China Daily that they were inspired by the visit of Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, an out lesbian who married her partner on the same day Iceland legalized marriage equality in June 2010.
"In China, lesbians face heavy marital and finical burdens," one of the brides, who identified herself only as Xiaoxiao, told China Daily. "A woman will be regarded as 'leftover' if she doesn't get married. Not married to men, lesbians have to be financially independent, but women are usually put in an unfavorable position in the Chinese job market, which is full of sex discrimination."
Dressed in floor-length white gowns, the couple exchanged rings in front of Sacred Heart Cathedral, and held signs with pro-gay slogans, according to Sina English.
"Legalization of same-sex marriages will bring lesbians legal protection," said Xiaoxiao's wife, Xiaoyang. "But most lesbians are afraid of stepping up to speak out. I hope more lesbians can speak up and society can listen to what they say. And I hope the society can respect homosexuals' choice and protect their rights."