Gay Couples Can Now Marry in Russia…as Long as It’s at the British Consulate

Gay couples can now marry at British consulates in more than 20 countries, including Russia, where same-sex marriage is outlawed, The Independent reports:

BritembassyThe Foreign Office has opened the doors of its missions to British nationals and their partners who wish to wed but are unable to under foreign laws.

Chris Bryant, the former Foreign office minister and openly gay Labour MP, said he hoped the move would be "celebrated" in countries like Russia where homosexuals face prejudice and persecution.

The countries include Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, and Vietnam.

Comments

  1. Hansel Currywurst says

    It’s (not) funny to see Australia on a list of backward nations.

  2. simon says

    The title of this news should rather be:
    “Gay Britons can now marry in Russia …..”
    This option has long been available to straight couples. Supposedly this should apply also to interracial couples. That means it is available to Russians if their spouses are British.

  3. Steve says

    Note the USA is not on the list. No help for British gay couples living in the 33 States that deny them the right to marry. The Brits haven’t the balls to upset the White House.

  4. edude says

    From The Independent article: “The Foreign Office said that it is offering same-sex marriages in 23 countries where same sex marriage is not legal and “local authorities” have given permission for the ceremonies to be carried out.”

    Therefore it would appear those countries on the list have given permission for the same-sex marriages to take place. Others may not have.

    Technically I believe the British could do what they like in their diplomatic missions, as they are British sovereign territory, but I would imagine the approach has been that it’s best to cooperate with the host country where possible.

    I would also conjecture that British consulates that do not offer this service may also just not be big enough to accommodate marriage services in terms of space and personnel for instance.

    I would also think the view when it comes to the US is that same-sex marriage is legal in parts of the country (because diplomatic relations are between countries, not sub-sections of countries), therefore people could travel to those parts of the US where it is legal to get married. Moreover, most British consulates in the US are in states where same-sex marriage is already legal, or where out-of-state same-sex marriage is recognized by that state.

    I agree the heading of the article is misleading because this only applies to British nationals and their prospective spouses, not nationals of the host country (unless they are marrying a Briton).

    In any case, it’s good news as far as I am concerned, on the long road that’s getting shorter, and where it’s only a matter of time!

  5. Merv says

    @Steve – There’s no help for British couples living in Northern Ireland, either. For that matter, there’s no help for British couples living in Scotland (SSM not yet in effect).

  6. Paschal says

    @Edude – An embassy is technically the sovereign territory of the host country. But the law of the host country typically does not apply in the embassy,

  7. edude says

    PASCHAL – I stand corrected. Interesting blend of jurisdiction in that case. Glad I said “I believe” there. :)

    From Wikipedia: “Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state. Rather, the premises of diplomatic missions remain under the jurisdiction of the host state while being afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws) by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Diplomats themselves still retain full diplomatic immunity, and (as an adherent to the Vienna Convention) the host country may not enter the premises of the mission without permission of the represented country. The term “extraterritoriality” is often applied to diplomatic missions, but only in this broader sense.

  8. Gay Guy says

    To Steve:

    The British consulates are offering this in countries where it is not legal for same sex couples to marry. It is legal in much of the U.S. and it is federally recognized. The fact that it’s not recognized everywhere in the country isn’t relevant.

  9. Gay Guy says

    To Steve:

    The British consulates are offering this in countries where it is not legal for same sex couples to marry. It is legal in much of the U.S. and it is federally recognized. The fact that it’s not recognized everywhere in the country isn’t relevant.

  10. Gay Guy says

    Note that some of the countries listed are E.U. ad some are Commonwealth. Wouldn’t either of those treaties obligate recognition?