This week Vietnam’s repeal of its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage went into effect. But marriage still isn’t legal or recognized.
Same-sex couples can now hold symbolic weddings and cohabitate without interference or fines from authorities. However, they will not receive the same rights as straight married couples, a halfway point some lawmakers have hailed as the first step towards marriage equality. “They can organize wedding parties and live together but their marriage is not legally recognized by a certificate of marriage,” Bui Minh Hong, an official from the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Economic and Civil Legislation, told DTiNews. Vietnam was one of the first countries to ban gay marriage in 1992 but was the first to repeal such a law in June last year.
Some observers believe that Vietnam will become the first Asian nation to legalize same-sex marriage, but no legislation is pending.