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Chinese Court Rules Against Gay Conversion Therapy Clinic: VIDEO

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Chinese gay rights activists counted another victory this past Friday following the Haidian District Court’s ruling against a local gay conversion therapy center. Yang Teng, a 30-year old man living in Beijing (who was previously quoted under the pseudonym Xiao Zhen), filed a lawsuit against at the Xinyu Piaoxian clinic after being subjected to a routine of hypnosis and electroshock therapy. Teng checked himself into the clinic after being pressured by his family to attempt “curing” himself of his homosexuality, he explained.

As of 2001, the People’s Republic no longer recognizes homosexuality as a mental illness. Presiding judge Wang Chenghong based her decision on China’s official legal position on homosexuality, reasoning that Teng’s gay desires were not something that could be medically treated. The clinic has been ordered to issue an official apology to Teng and to pay damages totaling 3,500 yuan ($563 US.)

“We accomplished our goal, which was to establish that gay conversion is not a legitimate form of therapy,” Yang said soon after a decision was made. I’m going to take this verdict and show it to my parents so they can see a Chinese court said homosexuality isn’t a mental illness.”

Teng’s family insisted upon his checking into Xinyu Piaoxian after seeing advertisements for the clinic on Baidu, one of China’s largest search engines. Baidu was also named in Teng’s lawsuit, though Judge Chenghong’s ruling did not call for the company to pay damages as well. The search engine would be well advised, she explained, in being more careful in its decisions to run ads for questionable services.

Watch an AllOut video on Zhen's story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Chinese Gay Social App Blued Working With Government to Spread HIV/AIDS Awareness

BluedIn 2011 Ma Baoli left his job as a Chinese police officer after it was discovered that he was the creator and administrator of Danlan.org, a popular Chinese social network for gay men. Soon after resigning Baoli created Blued, a geo-location based mobile app similar to Grindr.

In the three years since Baoli launched Blued, the application’s userbase has expanded to over 15 million people. Unlike many of its predecessors, which the Chinese government has been known to proactively shut down, Blued has found an unlikely ally in governmental officials looking to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout the country.

In the early days of HIV/AIDS the virus was widely thought to be a larger problem for China’s rural population. In recent years, however, the rate of new infections is steadily rising within younger populations in more metropolitan areas.

“The proportion of young H.I.V./AIDS sufferers almost doubled between 2008 and 2012, and gay sex is considered a major reason for the increase,” Shang Hong, a researcher at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said to Xinhua.

Reaching out China’s gay male population has proven to be difficult for the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Though consensual same-sex interactions were decriminalized in China in 1997, much of the country’s culture is still somewhat resistant to open frank discussions about LGBT public health when it comes to safer sex.

Blued’s parent company Blue City has proven to be an unlikely ally for the Chinese government in its efforts to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and offer HIV blood tests.

“None of our public awareness websites can receive such attention,” said Wu Zunyou, the director of the Chinese CDC, said at AIDS awareness gathering last week. “This is a very important channel to be able to spread information about AIDS prevention among the LGBT community."


China's LGBT Community Fights Stigma, Sham Marriages, Shock Therapy: VIDEO

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It's been 17 years since homosexuality was decriminalized in China. 

But the LGBT community in the world's most populous country is still facing enormous challenges, according to a new CNN "On China" report.

In 2013, a Pew survey found that only 21 percent of Chinese people favor acceptance of homosexuality. 

Practices like shock therapy to "cure" homosexaulity are still common, and there are no laws against anti-LGBT discrimination. 

In fact, the biggest issue facing the LGBT community in China is not same-sex marriage — which remains illegal — but opposite-sex marriage. 

Studies have shown that as many as 10 million Chinese women are married to gay men. That's because Chinese culture places enormous pressure on people to produce offspring — pressure that is only intensified by the country's one-child policy. 

In the LGBT community, sham marriages are the norm — and there are even websites dedicated to matching gay men and women. 

"If you're not [married], you're a monster," LGBT activist Xu Bin told CNN. "If you're above 25 years of age, and you're not married, you're an outcast — there must be something wrong." 

China's Communist government is officially neutral on homosexuality, activists say. However, national security forces watch LGBT advocacy groups closedly and have warned them about being too vocal. 

If nothing else, the CNN report is a reminder that we've still got a lot of work to do overseas, not just in countries where gays are actively persecuted, but anywhere our LGBT brothers and sisters aren't free and equal. 

Watch two videos previewing the report, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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Bizarre Viral Chicken Song from China Taking the Internet By Storm: VIDEO

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"Chick Chick" is a new single from Chinese pop group Wang Rong Rollin which has amassed more than 5 million views on YouTube. Definitely the thing to watch if your first day back at work after the weekend isn't crazy enough because this has insanity in spades, along with a few barnyard animals who are ready for the White Party.

Find out what the chicken says, AFTER THE JUMP...

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70,000 Attend Taiwan Pride 2014 - VIDEO

Taiwan Pride 2014

An estimated 70,000 people attended the LGBT Pride Parade in Taiwan on October 25th, reports Global Voices.

The number of people taking part was one of the largest since the parade was first held in 2003, making Taiwan Pride the biggest in Asia.

With this year’s theme ‘Walk in Queers’ Shoes,’ the event featured voices from marginalized LGBT groups including physically disabled people, HIV-positive people and sex workers.

A marriage equality bill was presented by the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights in 2012. Although the proposed law passed the first reading in October 2013, the legislative process was suspended following a massive mobilization of opponents.

Gay rights activists this month began pushing legislators to resume implementation of the legislation. A public hearing for the bill was held on October 16.

Taiwan Pride 2014 Logo

Watch a video for Taiwan Pride 2014, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Drone Offers Bird's-Eye View Of Umbrella Revolution In Hong Kong: VIDEO

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Yesterday, we brought you news of the burgeoning Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong, so named because of the umbrellas used by pro-democracy protesters to ward off the tear gas being used by riot police. Even as government officials shut down Instagram throughout the country--which was being used to disseminate images of anti-government insubordination--protesters continued to flood the streets in Hong Kong, refusing to back down.

Global Post's Timothy McGrath sums up the unrest:

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Hong Kong in an outpouring of frustration over politics and representation. Under Hong Kong's present electoral system, citizens don't elect their own leaders. Instead, they're appointed by a Beijing-friendly electoral committee. That will change — sort of, but not really — in 2017, when Hong Kong citizens will get to choose from among two or three candidates pre-selected by a Beijing nominating committee.

Protesters call the new electoral system "fake democracy." 

Check out a stunning video filmed by a drone showing the thousands of protesters who took to the streets on Monday, AFTER THE JUMP...

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