VIETNAM LEGALIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. ALMOST.

Thứ Hai, 25 Tháng Mười Một 201300:00(Xem: 17306)
VIETNAM LEGALIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. ALMOST.
It's no longer illegal to "marry" your same sex partner in Vietnam. Vietnam has legalized gay weddings.

Same-sex couples in Vietnam can now organize weddings and they have the right to live together. So, the couples can have a traditional Vietnamese marriage celebration, though this type of marriage has no force of law. The only benefit to this new permission is that same-sex couples can be openly recognized as partners in life.

No Southeast Asian country recognizes same-sex marriages. Thailand and some other countries have always allowed same-sex couples to have traditional, non-legal weddings but this has not been possible in Vietnam until recently. Now in Vietnam, same-sex couples can have their wedding receptions, the board outside the restaurant can have their names as a "married" couple, and they can have the balloons and champagne towers just like other couples. But they can't get a marriage certificate.

In Asia, only Vietnam has made an official announcement regarding same-sex unions. Gay rights supporters believe it is a "large" small step on the path to equal rights. The Government has taken this step after two fines were handed out to a gay and lesbian couple who chose to have a marriage ceremony in Kien Giang and Ca Mau.

The Australian government does not yet allow same-sex marriages. Instead of that, they recognize Civil Partnerships. This means that the two people are officially recognized as a couple for health and social benefits, pensions and inheritance and other legal matters, but they still cannot get a marriage certificate in Australia.

New Zealand is the closest country to Vietnam that allows same-sex marriages. It is the only such country in the Asia-Pacific area to do so.

Social acceptance of same-sex marriages is something else to be considered. Most Vietnamese people do not understand such relationships and do not approve of them. Same-sex couples who celebrate their relationship publicly will still need to overcome the negative attitudes of society.

 Indeed, no one can fully understand the reason for the recent government permission for same-sex weddings. There is no need for the government to gain support of LGBT groups. If the LGBT groups or individuals become an annoyance to the government , they will be quickly silenced.

 One theory is that somewhere in the government there are people who hope to see same-sex marriages become legal in Vietnam and if they are, it will be a boost to the tourist industry of Vietnam. Gay couples will come from many countries to benefit from a marriage equality law.

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Q.1. For immigration purposes, is there any benefit for same-sex couples to have a traditional Vietnamese wedding celebration?
 A.1. The traditional wedding celebration in Vietnam could be used as additional evidence of relationship, and this might be important in same-sex fiancée cases.

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Q.2. If the same-sex couple has a traditional marriage, can a fiancée petition still be filed?
A.2. A fiancée petition can still be filed, because the traditional marriage has no force in law.

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Q.3. If a Vietnamese national and overseas Vietnamese marry officially in New Zealand, can the sponsor file a spouse petition?
 A.3. The sponsor can file a spouse petition if the marriage is legally recognized in the country where it was performed. So, an American citizen or permanent resident can file a spouse petition if the marriage was performed in New Zealand or any other country that allows same-sex marriages.

ROBERT MULLINS INTERNATIONAL www.rmiodp.com
Immigration Support Services-Tham Van Di Tru

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