In China, there are more than 16 million straight women who unwittingly marry gay men. Among them, over 90% have suffered domestic violence, 38.7% are subjected to physical violence, 15% have suffered serious domestic violence, while 37.6% have suffered emotional abuse.
Li Xianhong, who is an associate professor in China, found that 90 percent of the wives of gay men she had researched had suffered from severe depression, of which 10 percent had tried to commit suicide.
Another serious issue in gay-straight marriages is that the women are at risk of contracting AIDs. One research paper in China showed that fewer than 50 percent of gay husbands affected with HIV would tell their wives or take precautionary measures.
Who should take responsibility for a gay man’s wife’s pain? No legal definition: current Chinese laws have no legal terminology for homosexuals, let alone a legal definition for wives of homosexuals. This has meant that lawyers and judges have had no legal references when discussing cases involving wives of gay men. As a result, although most gay husbands deprive their wives of the right to know about their homosexuality, in divorce courts wives are disadvantaged unlikely to be awarded fair compensation.
We shouldn’t endorse prejudice against homosexuals, BUT we also shouldn’t overlook marriage fraud that causes harm to women, either.
Written by Valentina Tu