154 same-sex couples married at British Embassies abroad
Figures have been released of the number of same-sex couples married at British Embassies.
Same-sex couples, of whom one or both is British, can be wed in embassies in countries which do not allow same-sex marriage.
While embassies abroad are technically considered British soil, the countries in question must also give permission for the weddings to take place.
An astonishing 120 couples have married in Australia – where the same-sex marriage debate is a hot topic. Australia is still the only major English-speaking nation not to allow same-sex marriage anywhere in its borders.
The first same-sex marriage recently took place at the British Embassy in Seychelles. It caused some controversy, with a bishop calling the wedding “illegal and shameful” and “disrespectful to Seychelles”.
After Australia, China has had the second largest number, with 10 couples marrying there. Japan has had 7 – including that of diplomats Tim Johnson and Ryan Parkins, which was attended by the British Ambassador.
The figures were released by Foreign Office minister James Duddridge, in response to a parliamentary question.
The other countries that have held weddings are Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Philippines and Vietnam.
British nationals are also able to marry at embassies in Albania, Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Serbia and Russia among others.
The Pitcairn Islands, a British Overseas Territory with a population of just 48, recently legalised same-sex marriage, despite having no gay inhabitants at present.