Vietnam Lifts Gay Marriage Ban

File:Flag of Vietnam.svgVietnam has lifted its ban on gay marriage.

This isn't the same as making it legal. The Government will not recognise the marriage, and there will be no legal protection in the event of a separation or in the death of a spouse.

This is good news, however. Especially for Vietnamese same-sex couples and foreign LGBT tourists. Positive LGBT stories from South-East Asia can feel few and far between.

Financially, the decision is a sound one. Like many countries, Vietnam wants more foreign tourists, and this isn't easy in a competitive region that includes Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia. Economically speaking, recent years have not been kind to Vietnam, and the country has few options if it is to set itself apart from its rivals. Tapping into the LGBT travel market could be a shrewd move. Presently, homosexual relationships are illegal in Singapore, Burma and Malaysia and gay marriage is illegal in Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Philippines and Thailand. So there's certainly an opportunity here.

Vietnam has also relaxed its visa requirements for a number of Asian and European
countries in the hope of  marketing the country more attractive to both the short and the long haul travel market.

What's your experience of Vietnam? We'd love to hear them.

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