On your merry way in the world? Make sure it’s safe

By Paola DePaola

By Paola DePaola

BY HUGH WRIGHT
The Gay Wedding Guide

Equal marriage is a basic human right and it is fantastic that a further more and more countries are recognizing this (in 2015 Easter Island and Chile began recognizing civil unions and seven countries legalized same-sex marriage); these historic decisions reflect the fact that LGBT rights are changing for the better, however 80 countries and territories still criminalize same-sex activity — a handful of which still apply the death penalty for it. This is abhorrent, and is why we’ve created an interactive LGBT rights map of 272 countries to help couples plan their wedding or honeymoon abroad. Our map is easy to use — just click on a country to reveal its LGBT rights and same-sex marriage laws.

Of course, before you travel, it’s also important to bear in mind that even though equal marriage and same-sex activity might be legal in a country you’re visiting, it still might be culturally unpopular.

When you are planning your wedding, it’s important you make sure whether you can marry in a country even if you’re not a citizen because although equal marriage might be legal, if you or your partner or both of you don’t have citizenship, you could find yourselves with a very expensive wasted journey, not to mention a huge disappointment.

And, if you’re honeymooning or holidaying, it’s important to remember that attitudes to LGBT people can be very different. Even though a country might have legalised equal marriage and same-sex activity, it might still be culturally disapproving of it and although we never advocate denying who you are or hiding your sexuality, if you do your homework before you travel you may find that simple precautions might help you avoid encountering hostile attitudes that could spoil your trip, or you could decide that visiting a country or area that might be hostile to LGBT people outweighs the risks in doing so.

For advice on avoiding problems when you travel abroad, visit The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

For same-sex wedding legal advice, and same-sex welcoming wedding venues in the UK and overseas honeymoon hotels, visit thegayweddingguide.co.uk.

The Gay Wedding Guide is an online resource for same-sex couples looking to get married. It features welcoming wedding venues and honeymoon hotels, as well as advice and inspiration from industry experts to help you plan your big day to perfection.

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