How gay Chinese hide their relationships behind ‘sham marriages’


In China – where same-sex unions are not legal and homosexuality remains taboo – gay men and women are marrying each other

When Xiaoxiong and her lesbian lover wanted to hide their relationship from their parents, they decided to find men willing to marry them. They had a specific type in mind: gay.

Searching out suitors for such a marriage of convenience proved difficult, so she created an online matchmaking forum to help others like her conform with family and societal pressures in China, where same-sex marriage is not legal and homosexuality remains taboo.

“I was so relieved that there was a way to please my parents without getting trapped in a marriage with some poor straight man,” said Xiaoxiong, self-described tomboy, who did not want to give her surname to protect her privacy.

“Some of us wish we could trick ourselves, too,” the 35-year-old added.

She lives with her partner, Xiaojing, 36, their dog and two cats in Shenyang, the capital of northeastern Liaoning province, one of China’s more conservative regions.

But during holidays and special occasions, they separate to be with their husbands and families, pretending to be traditional wives.

In China being openly gay is still fraught with difficulties. Dressing a certain way or public displays of affection can draw stares and lead to family turmoil.

Some Chinese parents have even brought gay children to “conversion” clinics for treatment.

Homosexuality was classified as a mental illness in China until 2001 and a crime until 1997, and authorities have arrested gay rights activists.

Around 90 per cent of 20 million gay men in China are married to women who are usually straight and do not initially know their husband’s real sexual orientation, according to a 2012 study from Qingdao University. The study did not look at lesbians’ behavior.

But gay men and women are increasingly marrying each other in so-called cooperative marriages.

There are no estimates on the number of gay-lesbian marriages, but several websites dedicated to them have popped up in recent years.

The largest one, Chinagayles.com, says it has amassed more than 400,000 users and facilitated more than 50,000 cooperative marriages in the past 12 years.

Homophobia in China

“When I turned 25, my parents started to really pressure me to get married. So I searched the internet for ideas,” Xiaoxiong said.

She started her own forum on the popular QQ social media platform to help gays like herself find the ideal fake spouse in northeast China.

Some of the men she spoke with had unrealistic expectations, such as wanting her to grow out her buzz cut or move to a different city to live in the same house as in-laws.

In 2012, she married a high school maths teacher 10 years her senior whose laid-back demeanour immediately made her feel comfortable.

But she cringes at the wedding photos of herself in a white gown and curly black wig. The video makes her “want to vomit”, she concedes.

Within weeks of the ceremony, Xiaojing, her partner for eight years, had also wed a gay man.

The two women run a traditional Chinese medical practice together, and they dedicate several hours each week to answering questions on the online matchmaking forum.

But Xiaojing warns people interested in cooperative marriages to be prepared for potential complications.

“Some people rush into a marriage with someone they barely know,” she said. “But just like real marriage, it only works between people who agree on important things like where to live and whether to have children, and who genuinely care about each other.”

But some gay rights activists frown upon such arrangements.

“By pretending to be straight and enjoying the social benefits, they are abandoning other LGBT people to face the pressure alone,” said Ah Qiang, a prominent activist who leads China’s PFLAG group – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

“I think a reason homophobia is still so strong in China is that many straight people don’t know any openly gay people,” he said.

Xiaoxiong and Xiaojing believe their families likely know the truth about their relationship, but nobody wants to acknowledge the obvious.

“We don’t wish for much,” Xiaoxiong said. “When we are home, when we are sitting side by side, we just feel so peaceful and happy.”

South China Morning Post

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An unfair split


In Italy, trusting a partner to do the best by you isn’t always a safe bet.

That’s Queer 

In a gay relationship, 50-50 isn’t an equal proposition and can unexpectedly leave a trusting partner on the brink

My move to Italy in 2001 sharply curtailed my career possibilities and earning power. The best I could do was become an English instructor, a job that would never pay well or give me much chance for advancement. My companion Alberto, on the other hand, was a doctor with a secure position in a local hospital. What’s more, he already owned a modest apartment in Milan and had inherited part of a house on Lago Maggiore.

Many people still hold to the idea that one partner, usually the man in a heterosexual relationship, must be the primary wage earner, the so-called breadwinner. My father told me this in no uncertain terms, calling me a “parasite, living off Alberto’s money.” While it’s true my standard of living is higher than what I could manage on an English teacher’s salary, I still pay my own bills, including half of our second-hand car and our old boat. Though I share living expenses with Alberto, we don’t split things 50-50 and he contributes more.

If anything were to go wrong between us, Alberto could continue living as he does now. I’d have to return to Canada and find a way to reinvent myself in the workplace.

I married Alberto in Canada, but the Italy I moved to in 2001 contained no legal mechanisms to protect me. Same-sex civil unions didn’t exist. Alberto named me as his heir in his will. He added an insurance policy and also drafted a contract stipulating I had rights to a certain percentage of his estate. Unfortunately, as many wives would attest, not all husbands are as careful or considerate.

Click the Link for the Rest of the Story

http://www.theamericanmag.com/article.php?feature=Features&column=95

 

Will the next President of France be a Conservative? Eight things to know about Fillon – ‘The French Thatcher’


Eight things to know about Fillon - 'The French Thatcher'

 

After winning the rightwing presidential primary, François Fillon will now be installed as the favorite to win next year’s presidential election. Here’s what you need to know about the open admirer of Margaret Thatcher.

He’s a big fan of Margaret Thatcher

Openly saying you are an admirer of the former Conservative British Prime Minister is normally risky business for a Frenchman.

She and Ronald Reagan are often seen as the bad parents of the neoliberal economic revolution in the 1980s that France has never really adjusted to.

But Fillon, who was Prime Minister under ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy for five years, likes the Iron Lady because according to him she got her country back on track.

“She is the symbol of an inflexible political determination to stop a situation of decline,” said Fillon back in 2014.

And in the run up to last Sunday’s first round vote Fillon hit back at his rivals who compared him to Thatcher in a bid to turn French voters against him.

“Some candidates wanted to be unkind by calling me Thatcherite, but it pleased me,” Fillon said. “At least she left her mark as someone who straightened out her country.”

“She’s a woman who has been elected three times. There is not a single president of the French Republic who has been elected three times, so she had the confidence of the British.”

Franois is the only candidate to deeply admire Margaret Thatcher and say it out loud. Quite unusual in France, to say the least.

The word “Thatcher” was trending in France the day after the first round  in a sign the French public were trying to find out just how much Fillon was a fan.

Left leaning newspaper Liberation made it clear on their front cover exactly what Fillon means for France.

He loves Thatcher because…

Fillon’s love for all things Thatcher is linked to his desire for a “total rupture” as a means to pull France’s struggling economy into the 21st century.

Like Thatcher Fillon wants to cut back state spending, or more to the point completely shred it and impose liberal economic policies.

He says he wants to make €100 billion of savings in five years. To do that he wants to cut 500,000 jobs in the French civil service, raise the retirement age to 65, scrap the 35-hour week for the private sector and raise the legal working week to 39 hours for civil servants.

In terms of the working week, he would simply set a maximum of 48 hours in line with EU law.

Some 20 percent of the €110 billion worth of cuts will be made by local authorities. Fillon also wants to put a lower cap on unemployment benefits.

He’s also a friend of business and wants to cut levies on firms to the tune of €40 billion and implement €10 billion of tax cuts for households. He also wants to scrap France’s wealth tax on the richest residents, called ISF.

To cover for these cuts, he wants to raise VAT by two percentage points.

Fillon also wants to scrap most of France’s labor laws, and leave disputes to be sorted out at sector or company level, to try and break the power of the unions.

Last month French right wing magazine Le Point made it clear it too was in favor of a dose of Thatcherism to turn the country around.

Fillon’s a follower of Trump when it comes to Russia

Not many mainstream French politicians have anything in common with Donald Trump but François Fillon does. He too is a fan of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and favors an alliance with Moscow to battle Isis in the Middle East, which the current French administration under François Hollande has avoided, due to Russia’s support for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

“It’s clear Russia has its own interests in the region, but who in the Middle East doesn’t? Fillon wrote in Marianne magazine recently.

Fillon saluted Putin’s “cold and effective pragmatism” in the region.

For Fillon Islam is ‘a big problem’

The former prime minister might not be as obsessed by identity and the role of Islam in France as his former boss Nicolas Sarkozy, but Fillon still has fairly strong views that will not make the country’s Muslim population feel at ease.

“There are no problems with religion in France. There is a problem linked to Islam,” said Fillon.

In his essay “Conquering Islamic Totalitarianism” Fillon says the “bloody invasion of Islamism in our daily lives could provoke a third world war.”

However Fillon is not in favor of banning religious symbols like the Muslim headscarf in public, as Sarkozy suggested he was.

Earlier this year he provoked ire and ridicule dismissed the idea that France should feel guilty about its colonization of North Africa, saying “there was nothing to be ashamed about France just wanting to share its culture.”

“For Fillon, colonialisation was just like Erasmus,” read one sarcastic reaction on Twittter.

He’s anti-gay marriage and a conservative at heart

Fillon was the preferred candidate of the once influential “Manif Pour Tous” anti-gay marriage movement in France because he closely reflected their views.

Although Fillon says he will not try to overturn the legalization of gay marriage that was brought in in 2012, he does want a change of the law to prevent gay couples from being able to adopt children.

Fillon is also against surrogacy and medically assisted births for lesbian couples. On Monday feminists were reminding France that Fillon has said he regrets saying abortion was a “fundamental right of a woman”.

But he does want to boost family allowances and make the payments universal rather than linked to salary as they are now.

He does not believe France is multicultural

Fillon has insisted his vision of France was not as a multicultural country.

When asked whether he saw the future of French society as multicultural he said: “the answer is no”.

France has a history, a language, a culture, of course this culture and language have been enriched by the contributions of foreign populations, but it remains the foundation of our identity,” he said.

When asked during Thursday night’s debate if France was already a multicultural country Fillon said “No, in any case it’s not the choice we made, we did not make the choice of communitarianism and multiculturalism.”

“When we go to somebody’s house, we don’t try to take power,” said Fillon adding that immigrants must respect France’s cultural heritage.

He thinks colonization was just “sharing culture”

Fillon provoked anger and ridicule in equal measure earlier this year when, in a speech to supporters, he said that Franec should not be guilty of its colonial part in North Africa, because it was all just about “sharing culture”.

He also said he would change the history curriculum so pupils would “not be taught to be ashamed of their country”.

Wealth: Married Gay Dads Make the Most Money


A new research paper from the Treasury Department has revealed a significant wage difference between married same-sex and different-sex couples.

Joint tax returns for 2014 revealed that the average household earnings of a male same-sex couple is $176,000. Comparatively, this figure is about $52,000 more than a female same-sex couple and $63,000 more than a different-sex couple.

New York Times points to a number of factors that may account for this wage difference, including the gender pay gap, the cost of child care, and location. Same-sex couples are likelier to live in coastal areas with higher wages — and a higher cost of living.

The study, which estimated there were 183,280 same-sex marriages in 2014, also revealed differences in where gay couples versus lesbian couples tend to cluster.

In descending order, male same-sex couples are concentrated in San Francisco (3.2 percent), Washington, D.C. (2.7 percent), New York (2.4 percent), Palm Springs, Calif. (1.7 percent), Seattle (1.4 percent), Oakland, Calif. (1.4 percent), Los Angeles (1.1 percent), Long Beach (1 percent), Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (1 percent), and Boston (1 percent).

Female same-sex couples are concentrated in Oakland (2.1 percent), Seattle (1.3 percent), San Francisco (1.1 percent), Springfield, Mass. (1.1 percent), Long Beach, Calif. (1 percent), Washington (0.9 percent), Boston (0.9 percent), Portland, Ore. (0.9 percent), and Madison, Wis. (0.8 percent).

The study also revealed another noteworthy statistic: The demographic with the highest household income is male same-sex couples with children. With an average pretax income of $275,000, these households reported more than twice the earnings of female same-sex couples and different-sex couples. This is likely due to the high cost of surrogacy and adoption, which can be a deterrent to less affluent male same-sex couples seeking to grow their families.

Since the data reported is from 2014, this study likely under represents same-sex couples across the United States, which did not have marriage equality nationally until 2015. But as the Times notes, “Maybe the best way to think about these Treasury numbers is as a floor, lower than the hypothetically perfect count of gay marriage but the closest we’ve ever come to one.”

Scott Johansen that Krazy Judge in Utah.


Foster parents April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, wanted to adopt a 1 year child who’s been in their care for the last three months.  They had the blessing of the child’s biological mother.

On Tuesday, Juvenile Court Judge Scott Johnasen ordered the child be removed from their home and sent “to a more traditional home.

Hoagland and Peirce were legally married more than a year ago. They were approved as foster parents after passing home inspections, background checks and interviews with the division of family services. They are already raising Peirce’s two children. .

Judge Johansen said through his research he had found out that kids in homosexual homes don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes and when they asked to show his research he would not. ( Calling Ben Carson)

The State of Utah, allows same sex couples to be foster parents.

Yesterday, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services said it was asking Johansen to reconsider, filing a motion with the judge to stay his order. If he declines, the agency said it would petition the court of appeals.   “It is DCFS’s position that this removal is not in the best interest of the child.

Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert said “I expect the court and the judge to follow the law. He may not like the law, but he should follow the law,”  “We don’t want to have activism of the bench in any way, shape or form.”

Reports suggests the Judge isn’t Happy

Its been a Krazy week in Utah for Gays

https://sacratomatovillepost.com/2015/11/07/mormon-church-labels-same-sex-couples-apostates/

CityFella

 

Caitlyn “Untouchable”?


Nearly 17 million viewers tuned into Diane Sawyer’s 20/20 interview. Millions of people were reintroduced to the faded Olympic star and learned of his very private and painful journey.

Today, more people know of Caitlyn then Bruce.  Despite her conservative views, her position on Gay Marriage it seems Caitlyn is untouchable.  One needent look any further than her family. They are very aware of public opinion and they are very cautious when they talk about her transformation.

There are some who believe she received a pass on the accident in Malibu where one person was killed earlier this year.

During an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live”  guest Sandra Bernhard was asked  if she was team Caitlyn?

 “Honey,” Bernhard responded, shaking her head. “Bruce Jenner was a sexist, golf playing bore. Suddenly he becomes a woman and everybody’s like ’Oh he’s so like moving and so emotional.’ It’s like ’no, “Honey,” Bernhard responded, shaking her head. “B sorry, no.’”   “You have to earn your right to be a woman” 

Last week on her radio show “Sandyland” on SiriusXM she said she was attacked by various gay groups after her comment about Caitlyn.

If difficult to ignore the Kardashian/Jenner machine.   Caitlyn is worth anywhere from 60 to 100 million dollars. During the Diane Sawyer interview, she plugged her “I am Cait” Reality Show on E..

I’m happy she is finally free to be who she is   But she owes a great debt to the LGBT community those who paved the way for her acceptance.

Today,Caitlyn Jenner is the ticket. People know her story and want see her up close and they are paying upwards of $700 a ticket for the privilege.  I don’t expect Ms Jenner to underwrite the Transgendared community.    What I’d like to see is for her to donate her time, and earnings from these appearances  to benefit LGBT centers nationwide.

The struggle for Transgendered individuals is far from over.  There are few centers for Transgendered outside of the large coastal cities.

A few months ago, I met a pretty young woman who says she is dying every day.   Every day she tricks to pay for her transformation.   She posts ads on Craiglist as a woman and is frequently raped and beaten up.  She advertises as a woman, and some men have a negative reaction when they meet her.some of the men leave, others beat her up.  She was beaten up the night I met her.   Her self esteem is less than zero. She traveled to Sacramento from the Midwest because she heard there were a lot of Sugar Daddies in Lake Tahoe.  Someone who take care of her and would pay for her last surgeries

In some circles, Caitlyn is untouchable, there is a lot of sympathy for her story and people quickly defend her.  But that’s today.   In five years……….

CityFella

“Little” Ben Carson says the Darndest things


By Theodore Schleifer and Eugene Scott/CNN

Ben Carson is at it again.

Carson struggled in an interview on Wednesday to explain whether he would support hiking the debt limit — the latest in a series of instances in which his comments have raised questions about his understanding of key policy questions of the day.

On abortion, Muslims, homosexuality, health care, gun violence and a host of other issues, the retired neurosurgeon has over the last few months made pronouncements that lit up Twitter, drew sharp rebukes from Democrats, and even left some of his Republican rivals wondering what exactly he was talking about.

More than once, Carson has had to try to clarify his statements — as he did again Thursday — with varying degrees of success.

None of it has hurt his political standing. In fact, just the opposite. In important primary states and nationally, Carson has positioned himself as a solid No. 2 behind Donald Trump. And his base of Republican primary voters applaud many of his stances.

Carson’s latest comments came on Wednesday in a tense back and forth with Kai Ryssdal on NPR’s Marketplace. Carson did not directly answer whether he’d support raising the debt ceiling to prevent a default on some obligations.

Asked several times if the ceiling should be raised, Carson said he would “not sign an increased budget.”

“I would provide the kind of leadership that says, ‘Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period,'” said Carson, who added he supports 3%-4% across-the-board reductions to the federal budget.

“I’m gonna try one more time, sir,” Ryssdal responded. “This is debt that’s already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?”

Carson answered, “What I’m saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops.”

The debate is an important one as the Treasury Department warns the government will hit the debt limit next month. Some congressional Republicans in the past have advocated for using the debt negotiations as leverage to extract spending cuts from Democrats.

Carson, who also told Marketplace that the rate of his flat tax would be “closer to 15%” than the 10% he has previously suggested, pledged to nevertheless balance the budget with his spending cuts. “You also have to recognize that all the spending that we’re doing, in my opinion, is not legitimate spending,” he said.

Carson issued a statement Thursday saying that “critics have blown this way out of proportion, or more correctly, don’t appreciate my resolve to get our fiscal house in order.”

“Raising the debt ceiling is about paying for obligations the federal government has incurred, and unless we get our debt under control, we will be back having the same argument about the debt ceiling on a regular basis,” the statement said in part.

Carson, who was once one of the country’s leading neurosurgeons before retiring several years ago, has rocketed up in the polls with appeal as a plain-spoken political outsider and a man of faith.

He began his rise to prominence after the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast where he attacked President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform while standing just a few feet away from the president.

A former Sunday School teacher, Carson has rallied much of the GOP’s conservative Christian base with a call for greater religious freedoms and his fierce opposition to abortion rights.

A campaign event this summer scheduled for a suburban Phoenix church accommodating 2,300 had to be moved to the city’s convention center, where more than 6,000 people attended. Some said the crowd topped Trump’s event the month before.

But Carson, who has never served in government or run for office before, has been dogged by a seemingly never-ending string of statements — critics see them as gaffes, tone deaf, and revealing an ignorance of public policy, while backers say they show he’s unafraid to speak common-sense truth that others shy away from.

In March, Carson said he is sure that homosexuality is a choice, explaining on CNN’s “New Day” the evidence for that was people “go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay.”

Carson also recently touched off a bigger uproar when he said he would not support a Muslim running for president.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said last month on NBC’s “Meet the Press” — drawing sharp criticism from Democrats.

He later clarified that he would support a Muslim for the White House as long as the candidate rejected the tenets of Sharia law, which Carson has said are not compatible with the U.S Constitution.

Some of his errors have been unforced. Last week, days before Hurricane Joaquin was projected to hit the East Coast, a reporter tossed Carson a softball in asking how he would prepare for the storm if he were in the White House.

“I don’t know,” he replied, touching off mockery on social media.

On the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Carson left reporters shaking their heads and confused when he said the U.S. could become like Nazi Germany and the rise of a Adolf Hitler-like figure is not out of the question here. Reporters asked who he thinks is like Hitler in the U.S.

“I think that example is pretty clear,” he responded, without elaborating, but insisting he wasn’t referring to Obama.

On the medical front, his area of expertise, Carson occasionally has come under fire, too. After he said research using fetal tissue is unnecessary, Jen Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist, sharply criticized the GOP presidential candidate.

“As a neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson knows full well that fetal tissue is essential for medical research,” wrote Gunter, author of “The Preemie Primer,” a guide for parents of premature babies.

Carson, who is anti-abortion, said on Fox News that “the number one cause of death for black people is abortion” and he’s called the Affordable Care Act slavery.

“Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” he said. “And it is — in a way — it is slavery, in a way. Because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”

On another issue, Carson is open to using military drone strikes on American soil to secure the border.

“You look at some of these caves and things out there one drone strike, boom, and they’re gone,” Carson told reporters near the Mexico border.


 A few words from CityFella

D.T I owe you an apology you are not the dullest tool in the shed.

If Dr Carlson was in one of those classrooms in Oregon, he wouldn’t afraid of a Terrorist with ab assault weapon, He would encouraged to people to rush um. he would even risk his prized Cinderella Pencil Box!

Clueless was not just a movie.