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Kamusi za China zimekataa kupitisha msamiati wa 'ushoga'

By Emma Maganga - Jul 23, 2012

In a picture taken on March 8, 2011, a gay couple kiss during their ceremonial 'wedding' to raise awareness of the issue of homosexual marriage, in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province.
In a picture taken on March 8, 2011, a gay couple kiss during their ceremonial 'wedding' to raise awareness of the issue of homosexual marriage, in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province.

Hong Kong

A newly published edition of an authoritative Chinese dictionary has come under fire for leaving out the homosexual definition of a word commonly used to refer to gay men and lesbians.

The word "tongzhi" traditionally means "comrade" and has been widely used by the Communist Party. But in recent decades the word has evolved to refer to homosexuals.

The committee charged with revising and updating the dictionary said they chose to leave out the definition because they didn't want to encourage its use, the director of the committee Jiang Langsheng told Chengdu Business Daily.

Coming out of the closet in China

The dictionary, which had its sixth edition published July 15, is one of the most renowned sources of information in China. According to CNTV this latest edition contains 69,000 entries -- an increase of 4,000 from the fifth edition published in 2005.

"It's unacceptable that the 'gay' meaning of 'tongzhi' was excluded from the dictionary, a reference book written for all, simply because of the compilers' own preferences and values," Nan Feng, a gay rights activist told the state-run news agency Xinhua.



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