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China tycoon dad offers $65M dowry to man who can wed gay daughter

(CBS News) Hong Kong is a special place in China, more tolerant and western-looking in its attitudes - up to a point, apparently.

Cecil Chao is a property billionaire with a taste for garish art and younger women. What he doesn't have is a taste for is his daughter's sexual orientation.

Gigi Chao has formalized her relationship with her partner in a church ceremony in France and that does not please Cecil Chao. He's tried to fix his embarrassment the way he fixes most things - with money. He's offered a $65 million marriage bounty to any man who can convince Gigi of the error of her ways. The tweets have flooded in and prove the old Chinese proverb - be careful what you ask for.

One of the marriage proposals reads, "I am interested in your offer to wed your daughter who also happens to be gay. I am a male person who also happens to be gay."

Another says, "Let's just get married and split the money 50-50."

Another adds, "Gigi Chao, you are now the most sexiest woman alive."

Gigi Chao says her father's interference is just a generational thing. "It's obvious that he doesn't accept his daughter being gay, first of all, but he doesn't accept that as a social statement. He can accept it, sort of, as an in-the-closet lifestyle choice, but not as a social statement."

What this does to the gay rights movement in Hong Kong is unclear, but it's certainly started a conversation.

Watch Mark Phillips' full report in the video above.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips returned to the CBS News London bureau as a correspondent in 1993. He has covered many major stories since then, including the war in the Balkans, the death of Princess Diana and the weapons inspection conflicts in Iraq.