There have not been specific laws in China that criminalized homosexuality. An anti-hooliganism law (from 1979 to 1997) criminalized male homosexuality in relation to sexual assault and the law was used to intimate gay men in China, but never applied to female homosexuality. The law was abolished in 1997. While female homosexuality was never actively criminalized, yet this led to the almost complete invisibility of lesbians and bisexual women.
Current anti-discrimination laws are narrowly focused on gender that excludes LGBT people. LGBTs have been victims of violence, extortion and rape, but the crimes go unreported due to fear of ridicule and discrimination.
LGBT people’s civil rights, such as inheritance, joint property rights and cohabitation, are not protected and same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in China.
Censorship laws explicitly ban homosexual content in any form in movies and television. This prevents a broader public discourse on LGBT people as well as sexual and gender identity.1