Confucian values reach US

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It may have been the first time that the US Supreme Court has quoted Confucius as a justification for a ­verdict, but not everyone in China was happy about it. Last week Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the Chinese sage when he explaining the court’s 5-4 verdict, stating: “Confucius taught that marriage lies at the foundation of government.”

The verdict in question was the court’s landmark decision to legalise same-sex marriages. While many in China applauded this, netizens were quick to ask why Confucius was relevant. “I don’t think Confucius said same-sex marriage was the foundation of government,” one weibo user wrote, while another added “Do you think same-sex marriage was popular back in the days of ancient China?”

On the website of Zeng Yi, a philosophy professor at Tongji University said the US court should not distort the teachings of Confucius. However, leading local sexologist Li Yinhe told the South China Morning Post that the verdict itself was good: I think the ruling will have a big impact on China and may promote the legalisation of same-sex marriage.”

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