Brian Davidson and his husband, Scott Chang
In what is likely the first high-profile same-sex marriage to be conducted by the diplomatic mission of a foreign country in China, the UK’s consul-general in Shanghai, Brian Davidson, married his same-sex partner, Scott Chang, an American citizen, in Beijing earlier today. The wedding is understood to have taken place at the official residence of the UK’s ambassador to China, Sir Sebastian Wood.
In an announcement on his official Weibo page this morning, Davidson wrote, “Love is GREAT. I am very proud that the law in the United Kingdom today affords me the same rights as any other British national to be married to whomever I love. This is one very real example of how the United Kingdom practices equality for all.”
“For me, it means that finally, our family and friends (British, Americans and Chinese) can witness the moment we commit to love and cherish each other till death do us part. This is extremely important for both me and my partner,” he added. The post attracted over 8,000 shares, 3,500 comments and 4,000 ‘likes’ within seven hours.
The ambassador shared the following photo of himself with the newly weds on his Weibo page:
The newly-weds with British ambassador Sebastian Wood
“I am delighted and honoured to have officiated the same-sex wedding of the UK’s consul-general in Shanghai, Brian Davidson, and his partner at my residence today,” he wrote. “We wish them a lifetime of happiness together.”
Same-sex couples can now marry at 23 British consulates around the world, including mainland China, Russia and Azerbaijan. According to an announcement from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, gay weddings can be conducted as long as host countries do not object.
Curiously, the UK’s consulate-general in Hong Kong is now the only British mission in China where the solemnisation of same-sex marriages is not permitted, because of an objection raised by the Hong Kong government that was fuelled by active lobbying by Christian groups.
Brian Davidson has been the UK’s Consul-General in Shanghai since January 2011. He previously served as Consul-General in Guangzhou from October 2006.