81085458JS001_GAY_MARRIAGE_London: British citizens living in Asian countries will now be able to get married there legally even though the host country may not deem such marriages legal.

Since June 3, British consulates in 23 countries will host gay marriages where the ceremonies are not legal, reports timesofindia.indiatimes.com.

The ‘Consular Marriage and Marriages under Foreign Law Order 2014’ that came into force means that marriages between same sex couples will be able to take place at British Consulates in the Asia-Pacific countries of Australia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Japan, Mongolia, Philippines, and Vietnam.

The original list of 23 countries is limited 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.

Same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales on March 29.

The Act enables same sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies and ensures those religious organizations that wish to do so to opt in to conduct marriage ceremonies for same sex couples.

It also enables civil partners to convert their partnership into a marriage, if they wish and also enables individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage.

UK said “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from March 29, 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex.”

Same-sex couples who married abroad under foreign law were till now treated as civil partners. Instead, from now on, they will be recognized as being married in England and Wales.

Same-sex weddings in some British consulates and armed forces bases overseas will be possible, and arrangements for same sex weddings in military chapels will now be in place.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com