On May 21, Youqu (pseudonym) posted on Weibo about her experience with her same-sex partner being rejected entry at the Guangzhou Chimelong Resort. After purchasing the couple’s ticket as a couple with their real names, the resort denied their entry because “the couple ticket was only for a man and a woman.”
“Same-sex couples are a special circumstance. Why didn’t you double check before buying your tickets since your situation is so unusual?” replied customer service after Youqu’s complaint.
But Youqu confirmed there was no explicit gender limitation on the ticket-purchasing platform.
After the incident was reported by several news media, major online ticket platforms responded instead with either adding the “one man and one woman” clause or removing the couple’s ticket option.
In recent years, as awareness for equality has grown worldwide, sexual minority groups have become more visible in China. But with lingering challenges in accommodations, social organisations are helping same-sex couples navigate the legal system.
Zhao Hu, a legal counsellor from the social organisation LGBT rights advocacy CHINA, said the incident was discriminatory and the resort is suspected of infringing on personal dignity.
Zhong Wenlü, a lawyer from the Sichuan Wu Zhong Law Firm, said that neither the ticket platform nor the resort should refuse to provide service to the couple unless under special circumstances; but the statement of gender limitation infringed on consumer rights of sexual and gender minorities.
LGBT rights in advocacy CHINA sent a statement to China Development Brief saying they predict the case will be filed for the couple next week.
China has officially accepted the five anti-discrimination recommendations from the UN in 2019, prompting optimism among the LGBTQ community in China.