‘Xi’an does not welcome LGBT events’


A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for May 31, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "What is going on at Ivanka Trump’s Chinese shoe factory?"

Authorities shut down an LGBT conference in Xi’an that would have featured Li Tingting 李婷婷, one of the Feminist Five arrested in 2015, the Hong Kong Free Press reports. The organizers of the event, called Speak Out 2017, were detained for eight hours and “forced to turn over their mobile phones, administrator access to their systems, their passwords, and a list of speakers to authorities,” according to a statement posted (in Chinese) by the organization on the social media platform Weibo. The authorities also reportedly told organizers that “Xi’an does not welcome gay activities” and that “LGBT activities can no longer be held in Xi’an.” Previously, four venues had already refused to host the event.

The new message of intolerance contrasts with previous years, when Speak Out successfully held gatherings to raise LGBT awareness in Chongqing, Chengdu, and even Xi’an in 2015. Reuters notes that the clampdown comes after last week’s court ruling in favor of gay marriage in Taiwan, which brought a wave of optimism to LGBT rights supporters in the mainland.