Gay Couples Can Marry in Russia, Other Countries in British Consulate

Published: June 4, 2014

The British newspaper the Telegraph reports same-sex marriages can now take place in the British consulates of 23 countries around the world, including nations where gay marriage isn’t legal, like Russia, Serbia, Hungary and Azerbaijan. The marriages, however, won’t be recognized under foreign law.

"The 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," the newspaper writes.

The former Foreign Office minister and openly gay British politician Chris Bryant told the Telegraph he hopes the move will be "celebrated" in countries that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, especially in Russia where the country’s LGBTQ community is persecuted under controversial anti-gay laws.

"Part of the Foreign Office’s job is to export British values abroad," Bryant told the newspaper. "Just as people have been able to perform civil partnerships in countries like Australia, Russia and Iran, so now they can get married. Russia is meant to be a signatory top the European Convention of human rights. I hope that when they start seeing gay and lesbian couples getting married in the British consulate in Moscow they will celebrate rather than denigrate and persecute.

There are many countries in the world where there is prejudice and active persecution against LGBT people," he continued. "All too often the state and the church is complicit."

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