Hong Kong’s government has rejected attempts by British nationals to marry on its soil. The former British colony is home to hundreds of thousands of British nationals.
Although British law now allows its citizens and nationals to enter into same-sex partnerships, Hong Kong’s Home Affairs Bureau says that it will not allow British nationals to do so at the British consulate.
British nationals are allowed by Britain to enter into these same-sex partnerships at its diplomatic offices around the world as long as the country in question does not object.
South Africa and a number of other countries, including Australia, Croatia, Venezuela, Belarus, Israel, Switzerland, Vietnam, Colombia, Japan, Turkmenistan, Costa Rica and certain states in the U.S., have allowed British nationals to enter into civil unions in diplomatic offices on their soil.
Hong Kong has explained that its position is based on the fact that the Chinese territory is in the process of deciding on the issue of laws opposing discrimination against gays and lesbians and does not wish to appear to be taking sides.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Hong Kong. The government is currently appealing against a local court case which ruled against laws that allow for sex between heterosexuals at a younger age (16) than sex between people of the same gender (21).