A court in China ruled on April 12 that same-sex couples are not entitled to the property rights afforded to married heterosexual couples. As reported by Sixth Tone, the Shenyang Intermediate People’s Court in the northeastern Liaoning province stated that “the relationship between same-sex couples is not protected or regulated by China’s Marriage Law.”
This ruling was made after 79-year-old Yuan sued her partner of 50 years, Li, accusing her of stealing, and asking for the latter to pay back 294,000 yuan ($45,200). Li, in turn, countersued Yuan since her sister sold the house that the couple used to occupy.
The court rejected both lawsuits, with the decision premised on non-recognition of same-sex marriage in China.
Sixth Tone, nonetheless, noted that same-sex couples are eligible for legal guardianship in China since 2017, when one partner is allowed to become the other’s caretaker in the event of physical or mental incapacitation.