VIETNAM is being hailed as an Asian leader after lifting a ban on same-sex marriage at the beginning of the year.

On January 1 this year its ruling Communist party repealed the law banning same-sex marriage, but the law does not extend to legally recognising the nuptials and LGBTI couples are still not afforded the same protections as heterosexual couples.

In 2013 the government repealed a law to impose heavy fines on same-sex couples who held wedding ceremonies.

Despite the lack of legal recognition it has been reported hundreds of couples have begun organising their weddings.

Doctor Thuan Nguyen told Bloomberg News he was planning to marry his boyfriend of two years.

“I am ready to have a wedding,” he said.

“Many, many young people in love are optimistic about the acceptance of gay weddings.”

Lifting the ban on same-sex marriage by the government is being interpreted as a move to bolster a staggering economy and attract more LGBTI tourists to the south east Asian country.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated due to an error. The ban was actually repealed on NYD of 2015, not 2016.

RELATED: Tentative hope for LGBTI people in Vietnam

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