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It took mere hours for a judge hearing China's first court case on gay marriage to throw it out.
A judge in Changsha, the capital city in the Hunan province, took only three hours to hear arguments on Wednesday before deciding to throw out the case.
Last June, Sun Wenlin, 27, and Hu Mingliang, 37, sued Changsha's civil affairs bureau for the right to marry after being refused based on their same-sex partnership. The month marked the couple's one-year anniversary, The Guardian reported.
In January, a Changsha court agreed to hear their case, according to the New York Times. Although the case was supposed to come before a judge that same month, it was postponed until Wednesday. Hundreds of LGBT activists gathered outside the courthouse to support the couple.
Sun said he and his partner sued the bureau because the laws don't explicitly bar same-sex couples from wedding. “We said this at the hearing, but they just kept repeating articles that mention ‘a man and a woman,'" he told the Times.
According to the paper, the court cited five different articles, three from the country's marriage law, and two from the official marriage registration regulation to make its decision. While the majority of the articles did reference "a man and a woman" in their language, one granted the civil affairs bureau the right to refuse a marriage registration to anyone deemed unqualified.
To make matters worse, the court also ruled that Sun and Hu will have to pay the fees associated with the legislation, which amount to 50 renminbi or $7.70.
Speaking with The Guardian after the judge's decision, Sun said he believed the judge had been too quick in his review. “We will continue to appeal," he said. "I think it is worthwhile. It catches people’s attention and it will help our opinions spread.”
He added, “What we are trying to achieve is freedom and equality.”