The US consul general in Shanghai has married his Chinese male partner in first such gay marriage by a foreign diplomat serving in the country.
Though a common enough scene in the Bay Area, San Francisco, the marriage ceremony for this couple was notable for many Chinese people seeing the news: One of the men was Hanscom Smith, the United States consul general in Shanghai. Photographs of his marriage, posted Tuesday on the official Chinese microblog account of the United States consul general, generated interest in China, which does not allow same-sex marriage.
Mr. Smith married Lv Yingzong, or Eric Lv, who is from Taipei, Taiwan.
One Chinese Internet user by the name of Daniel Chen Dandan posted an image of a beating heart on a microblog, writing, "Respect any type of love."
A few official Chinese news media websites picked up the photographs of the wedding and posted a short accompanying announcement. One photograph showed the men exchanging rings in front of a judge at City Hall.
In an interview posted on a website of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, Mr. Smith said it was important for American officials like him "to engage with the Chinese audience directly through social media."