June 27th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Peter Fraser and Gardon Stevenson on Friday became the first same-sex couple to marry in Australia, a country that does not permit gay marriage. Lucky for them, however, British consulates in several countries around the world have now begun performing same-sex consular marriages for British citizens, including the British Embassy in San José, Costa Rica.
While Fraser and Stevenson’s marriage will not be valid in Australia, since March of this year, same-sex couples in Britain have had equal access to marriage, and since earlier this month, have been permitted marriage at a number of British consulates and embassies around the world.
So far, the British Embassy in Costa Rica has not performed any same-sex marriages. While such unions will likely not be valid in Costa Rica, the marriages are legal under British law, and enjoy all the rights and benefits of any other married couple in Britain.
British missions officially (yet somewhat quietly) began offering same-sex consular marriages on June 3rd in a limited number of countries around the world.
Denise Lewis, Director of Political Affairs at the British Embassy in San José, confirmed to Inside Costa Rica today that San José was amongst the embassies performing such marriages.
The list of countries is limited because British missions are only able to provide same-sex marriages in countries where it is not possible for British nationals to have such a marriage under local law and where the local authorities have given permission for the missions to conduct consular marriages of same sex couples.