An attempt to secure same-sex marriage rights through the courts in China has failed.
On Wednesday, a judge in the city of Changsha dismissed a historic marriage equality case brought by Sun Wenlin, 27, who hoped to marry his partner, Hu Mingliang, 37.
Sun had sued the civil affairs bureau after it refused to recognise their relationship.
The court agreed in January to consider the case; seen at the time as a groundbreaking development.
However, after just a three hour hearing this week, the judge threw out the case and also ordered the couple to pay the costs for the legal action.
A disappointed Sun told The Guardian that he believes that the court had been “too cautious” and had not spent enough time adequately addressing their arguments.
“We will continue to appeal. I think it is worthwhile. It catches people’s attention and it will help our opinions spread,” he said.
“What we are trying to achieve is freedom and equality,” Sun added.
While homosexuality was legalised in China in 1997, LGBT people have no specific protections from discrimination and homosexuality remains a taboo.
Last month, it was revealed that the depiction of homosexuality, described as an “abnormal behaviour”, had been banned on television in China.
In November last year, hospitals in China were reported to still be offering gay people electric shock therapy as a means to “cure” them of their homosexuality.