How to Get Married as a Same-Sex Couple in China

February 17, 2023
5 min

China has a diverse cultural history, and although it has made notable progress toward equality in recent years, the country continues to encounter numerous obstacles concerning LGBTQ+ rights. For same-sex couples in China, the prospect of getting married can be overwhelming due to legal, cultural, and social barriers. 

However, with appropriate guidance and support, it is possible to navigate the complexities of Chinese law and society and plan a beautiful and meaningful wedding that celebrates your love and commitment.

Happiness of Lesbian Couple with LGBT Flag

The Legal Status of same-sex Marriages in China

Same-sex marriages are not currently recognized or legally permitted in China. The Chinese government does not acknowledge or allow same-sex marriages, and there are no specific laws or regulations that provide explicit protection for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. 

In addition to the lack of legal recognition, the Chinese government has a history of suppressing LGBTQ+ activism and expression, and discrimination and stigma against LGBTQ+ individuals continue to be prevalent in Chinese society. 

However, there have been recent calls from advocacy groups, activists, and some members of the public for the legalization of same-sex marriage in China. These calls for change aim to challenge societal norms, promote inclusivity, and advocate for legal protections for same-sex couples. It is important to stay informed about developments in LGBTQ+ rights and engage with relevant advocacy groups to track any potential progress toward legal recognition and protection for same-sex couples in China.

Getting married as a same-sex couple in China through Courtly

Although same-sex marriages are not currently recognized in China, there are alternative options available for couples seeking legal marriage. One option is Courtly, an online platform that enables couples to legally marry from anywhere in the world, at any time. Through Courtly, couples can obtain a marriage license and perform the ceremony entirely online, offering a convenient and accessible choice for couples in the 21st century, irrespective of nationality, sexuality, or physical location.

Courtly facilitates the issuance of a valid US marriage certificate from the state of Utah, regardless of whether the couple resides in the United States or holds US citizenship. This feature has garnered interest from couples residing in countries like China, where same-sex marriage is not yet legally recognized. 

It is worth noting that platforms like Courtly offer an alternative path for same-sex couples to have their relationships legally recognized, but it does not address the broader issue of legal recognition of same-sex marriage within China itself. The availability of such services reflects the evolving landscape of marriage and the efforts made to accommodate the needs of couples in diverse circumstances.

Benefits of having a legal US marriage certificate

For couples considering immigration to the United States or other countries that recognize same-sex marriages, a US marriage certificate obtained through Courtly can be used as proof of the couple's marital status, facilitating immigration processes and potentially providing benefits associated with spousal visas.

A US marriage certificate obtained through Courtly holds legal validity and is recognized by the United States. It establishes an official record of the couple's union, granting them the same legal rights and responsibilities as any other married couple within the United States.

Marriage is not just a legal document; it also holds significant symbolic meaning as an expression of love and commitment. With Courtly, same-sex couples can embark on their journey of love without the need to travel outside their home country, making the process more accessible and convenient.

Process of getting married online through Courtly

Using Courtly, couples have the option to complete the entire marriage process online, making it convenient and accessible from any location. With Courtly, obtaining a legitimate US marriage certificate is a quick and straightforward process, typically taking less than 48 hours, and there is no need for extensive documentation.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get married online with Courtly:

1. Sign up and create an account.

To begin, visit the Courtly website and click on the "Get Married" button located in the top right corner. Follow the instructions on the screen to create your account. Once registered, you can proceed to fill out your application.

2. Customize your ceremony.

Select your preferred ceremony format, setting, and officiant. Courtly offers a range of options to suit your preferences. Depending on the time and day you choose, Courtly will match you with a legally qualified US officiant.

3. Make a payment and receive confirmation.

After choosing your wedding package, proceed to make the payment. Once the payment is completed, you will receive an email confirmation from Courtly, indicating that your wedding arrangements are in place. For complete information on our available wedding packages and add-ons, please check our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate your marriage online with loved ones.

Gather your family and friends online to witness and celebrate your marriage. You can get married from the comfort of your own home or any location with a stable internet connection. The online ceremony typically takes around 15 minutes to complete.

Same-sex couple getting married remotely with family and licensed officiant via Zoom

Upon completion of the online wedding ceremony, you will receive a digital copy of your US marriage certificate immediately. Additionally, a printed copy of the certificate will be delivered to you within a week or two. Shortly after the wedding, you will also have the option to download your digital marriage license.

Cost of getting married online

Courtly offers affordable wedding packages starting at ¥3,399, which include a digital and physical marriage license, an online ceremony with an officiant, the government-mandated application cost, concierge assistance, and a digital marriage certificate. The aim is to provide an accessible option for couples to express their love without causing financial strain.


Courtly's online marriage services are particularly attractive to individuals and couples who encounter legal restrictions or cultural barriers in their respective countries. In the case of China, where same-sex marriage is not yet officially recognized, Courtly offers a unique opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate their love and commitment in a legally valid manner. It provides a convenient, accessible, and affordable solution that allows them to fulfill their desire to formalize their relationship without the need for extensive travel or facing social obstacles.

By choosing Courtly, LGBTQ+ individuals can overcome these challenges and have a meaningful wedding that respects their rights and honors their love. Courtly understands the importance of inclusivity and aims to provide a supportive platform where couples can embrace their love and create cherished memories of their special day.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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