Vietnam legalizes same sex wedding ceremonies

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Vietnam’s first-ever gay pride parade was held in Hanoi on August 5, 2012. (Nguyen Huy Kham/Reuters)

Hanoi — Vietnam has legalized same-sex wedding ceremonies, giving couples the right to live together.

While the unions won’t be recognized as marriages, gay rights activists in the southeastern Asian country say the government is on the right track.

The decision comes after two fines were imposed last year to two same-sex couples who held weddings ceremonies in Vietnam.

The couples were charged with holding a ceremony “contrary to the habits and customs of Vietnam” and violating the Law on Marriage & Family of Vietnam, which outlaws same-sex marriage, said reports.

After the law was challenged, however, the government backed down, and has decided to allow same-sex weddings.

The government was scheduled to hear a bill that would make gay marriage legal, but even though government ministers say they back the measure, the vote was delayed, according to reports.

Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong said a gradual transition towards marriage equality is the correct approach for Vietnam.

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