Gay marriage is no longer banned in Vietnam under an amendment to marriage law that came into effect on 1 January.
Same-sex couples can now hold symbolic weddings and cohabitate without interference or fines from authorities.
However, they will not receive the same rights as straight married couples, a halfway point some lawmakers have hailed as the first step towards marriage equality.
‘They can organize wedding parties and live together but their marriage is not legally recognized by a certificate of marriage,’ Bui Minh Hong, an official from the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Economic and Civil Legislation, told DTiNews.
Vietnam was one of the first countries to ban gay marriage in 1992 but was the first to repeal such a law in June last year.
Hong said lawmakers took into account a regulation deaing with disputes over assets and children while compiling the amendment bill, but it was omitted in the final version submited to the National Assembly.
‘Some have proposed that the government include this issue in amended civil law with due attention to the right of women in such situations,’ he said.
Hong said disagreements over this issue remained, with some saying couples should deal with conflicts among themselves while others say they should be resolved in accordance with civil law.