The British Embassy in Hanoi has officiated its first wedding for a same-sex couple in Vietnam.
Yein Kai Yee and Sutpreedee Chinithigun, both males and British citizens, had their wedding held by the British Embassy July 29 morning, according to tuoitrenews.vn.
The marriage was attended by the couple’s relatives and the embassy staff and Charge d’affaires and the first organized by the British Embassy in Vietnam since the British same-sex marriage law came into effect past March.
Lesley Craig, the embassy’s Charge d’affaires, said that the wedding was a wonderful opportunity that marked not only an important milestone for the couple but also the development of gender equality and human rights in the UK.
Legislation to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales was passed by the British parliament in July and came into force on March 13 this year. UK’s first same-sex marriage took place on March 29, 2014.
The new British ‘Consular Marriage and Marriages under Foreign Law Order 2014′ that came into force June 3 allows marriages between same sex couples to take place at some selected UK diplomatic missions.
So far such marriages are available only in 23 countries because British missions are only able to provide a same-sex marriage service in countries where it is not possible for British nationals to have such a marriage under local law and where the local authorities have given permission for the missions to conduct consular marriages of same-sex couples.
Countries where same-sex marriage is not legal have agreed to allow their British consulates to perform the marriages include Cambodia, China, Colombia, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, and Vietnam
Hence the British Embassy in Hanoi is able to organize a marriage between a British citizen and a partner of the same nationality.
It is not allowed to hold a same-sex wedding ceremony that involves a Vietnamese citizen as the country has not legalized same-sex marriage.
In 2012, Vietnam’s Justice Ministry suggested including same-sex couples in its overhaul of the Marriage and Family Law but when the law was finally passed last month, it removed an article that defined legal rights for cohabiting same-sex couples.
Nonetheless, Vietnam has scrapped fines against same-sex relations living together even though it does not officially recognize such marriages.
Source – Gay Asia News