The verdict is finally back on the first Chinese court case involving transgender rights, you’re not going to believe this but in the end the panel rejected the transgender man’s workplace discrimination claim.
The plaintiff, Mr. C, told the BBC Chinese that he was “disappointed” with the ruling, but vowed to keep fighting for equality.
The 28-year-old transgender man claimed that he was fired after only working seven days at his new job at health inspection firm, Ciming Checkup, because he dressed in men’s clothing for work.
Mr. C alleges that staff at Ciming were satisfied with his work performance as a sales consultant; however, he was told by a human resources manager that he looked “like a lesbian” and therefore ran the risk of harming the company’s reputation.
After he was fired, Mr. C was unsure of what to do. However, later in the year, he visited a LGBT law seminar in Shenzhen where he was encouraged to take legal action against Ciming. On March 7th, Mr. C and his attorney Hung Sha filed a labor case, asking for a week’s salary in unpaid wages (600 yuan) and a month’s worth in compensation (2,000 yuan), along with a written apology. After a few delays, the Yunyan district labor dispute board heard the case on April 11th.
A month later, the tribunal decided to award Mr. C his unpaid wages, but at the same time accepted Ciming’s claim that he was simply fired due to poor work performance after only a week on the job, making his dismissal legal.
“If a company can dismiss someone because of the way he dresses and is judged not illegal, then what more excuses do they need to dismiss someone?” Mr. C told the BBC.
“The case made me realize that discrimination against transgender [people] is more severe than I had thought. I will keep appealing to safeguard my legitimate right.”
While he may have lost at court, the case did manage to bring wider attention to transgender issues in China at a time when LGBT advocates are increasingly trying to secure their rights via the Chinese legal system.
There is still a lot of work left to be done. Chinese labor law contains an anti-discrimination clause that covers ethnicity, religion and sex — but not gender or sexual identity. China’s new domestic violence law does not apply to gay couples and recently Chinese censors have been cracking down on “immoral content,” including depictions of homosexuality in the media.
Last month, a court in Changsha ruled on China’s first-ever court case regarding same-sex unions, with the judge deciding against a gay couple’s right to marry.
… hey, at least Facebook won a copyright case?