HONG KONG BARS BRITISH CONSULATE GAY MARRIAGES

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Hong_Kong_bars_gay_marriages_in_british_consulateHong Kong authorities have refused to allow gay Britons to get married in the city’s British consulate.

Last week, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced that same-sex marriages can now take place in its consulates in 23 nations where these are not currently legal, including China and Russia.

Even though these marriages won’t be legally recognised in most of these countries, it’s come to light that gay British nationals in Hong Kong will not be afforded the opportunity to tie the knot.

“Unfortunately, the Hong Kong government has raised an objection to the solemnisation of same-sex marriages in Hong Kong,” a spokeswoman for the British consulate told the South China Morning Post.

According to the British government, the gay marriage service is only offered in countries “where the local authorities have given permission for the missions to conduct consular marriages of same sex couples.”

And while Hong Kong has refused to allow the consular ceremonies to take place, other countries with traditionally poor human and gay rights records such as China and Russia have surprisingly given their consent.

“Hong Kong is making a fool of itself while Moscow and Beijing have taken a more sensible view for something that does not concern their citizens,” Nigel el Collett, secretary for gay rights group Pink Alliance, told AFP.

Homosexuality was only legalised in Hong Kong in 1991 and same-sex couples have no legal recognition. In 2011, The Hong Kong Social Welfare Department was criticised for hiring a psychiatrist who specialised in “treating unwanted homosexuality” to train its staff on “same-sex attracted youths and their parents.”

The following countries have allowed British consulates to officiate gay marriages to British citizens in their territories: 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.

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