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

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In this undated photo, Gigi Chao, right, daughter of the Hong Kong property tycoon Cecil Chao, poses with her partner Sean Eav at an event in Hong Kong.
AP Photo

(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, CBS News London correspondent
    Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent based in London.