Chinese censors approve first gay love story in a movie

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China IS Opening Up to Same-Sex Relationships

After refusing to allow films about gay couples to open in theaters for years, Chinese censors this week approved the release of Wang Chao's Seek McCartney, a romance about a secret interracial relationship between two men. The film is a joint Chinese-French co-production, which experts say improved its chances at getting a theatrical release. (China sets a cap on the number of foreign films allowed to screen in theaters.)

Though Wang praised the move on Weibo as "a big step for the members of the film industry," gay-rights activists aren't so sure. As filmmaker Fan Popo told the AFP, "The fact that this film can be released in theaters doesn't mean gay films in the future will be able to be released in China. China's system for evaluating films is still very unstable, because the rules are very unclear. It depends heavily on the individual censor's whims." Homosexuality was decriminalized in China in 1997, but electroshock conversion therapy remained legal until last year.


For more photos of China's history with gay rights, click through the gallery below:
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NTP: China gay couple holds informal marriage to push for union
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Chinese censors approve first gay love story in a movie
Li Tingting, second from right, laughs as she is lifted off the ground by her wife Teresa Xu, right, outside of a beauty salon where the two were preparing for their wedding as clerks from an adjacent shop look on in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Teresa Xu, left, and Li Tingting, right, share a kiss in a beauty salon where the two were preparing for their wedding in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Li Tingting, left, and Teresa Xu, hold each other during their wedding ceremony in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Teresa Xu, left, and Li Tingting, second from left, share a toast with friends after their wedding ceremony in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Li Tingting, left, and Teresa Xu, second from left, are sprayed with silly string by a well-wisher as they arrive for their wedding in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Li Tingting, left, and Teresa Xu, right, clean silly string off of each other after being sprayed by a well-wisher at their wedding in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Teresa Xu, left, and Li Tingting, right, show off their wedding rings before their wedding in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Teresa Xu, left, and Li Tingting, right, share a moment outside of a beauty salon where the two were preparing for their wedding in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Teresa Xu, left, and her wife Li Tingting, second from left, laugh as they prepare for their wedding in a beauty salon in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Teresa Xu, left, and Li Tingting, right, share a kiss as clerks take photographs in a beauty salon where the two were preparing for their wedding in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Teresa Xu, left, and Li Tingting, right, share an intimate moment outside of a beauty salon where the two were preparing for their wedding in Beijing, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony Thursday to announce their informal marriage, in their latest effort to push for legalization of same-sex unions in China. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
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