A Proposal Almost Cost These Women Their Diplomas


There's a tradition in China for young college students in love to propose to each other on the day of their graduation. That's just what Jean Ouyang chose to do on the day of her and girlfriend Xiaoyu Wang's graduation from the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies earlier this summer.

When the adorable photos of their engagement went viral, the university threatened to withhold their diplomas, Wang wrote in Facebook post. The school told them to "keep our homosexuality to ourselves and don’t pester others."

"It didn’t stop there," she said. "They outed me to my parents and had the police break into my apartment to collect personal notes as 'evidence.'"

Wang told the BBC that a university official accused her of spreading vulgar material online and misbehaving in public.
"We decided to propose to each other on campus, because it's a way to express our feelings and raise awareness of LGBT issues," she said.

Despite the university's threats, Wang and Ouyang have finally received their diplomas.

A petition on Go.AllOut.org asking for the school to apologize and take measures to prevent discrimination on the campus has close to 76,000 signatures. In her Facebook post, Wang calls out for students of Georgetown University, Columbia University, the City University of New York, the University of California schools, and the University of Wisconsin and any of the other 192 schools that have partnerships with Guangdong University to send her petition to their chancellors.

Homosexuality was against the law in China until 1997, but according to The Guardian, some doctors in the country still treat it as a mental-health issue. In April, a judge dismissed China's first court case in which a gay couple sued to have their union recognized as marriage.

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