First Same-Sex Couple Legally Weds On Cruise Ship

"Together we are paving the way for couples around the world to know that their love and commitment is to be celebrated equally," said the head of Celebrity Cruises.

For what’s believed to be the first time, a same-sex couple married aboard a cruise ship in international waters.

Celebrity Cruises reports South Florida residents Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray tied the knot aboard the line’s 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox in a ceremony officiated by Captain Dimitrios Manetas.

Brian Burnell

“There are only so many firsts in life, and we are thrilled to be the first-ever LGBTQ+ couple to marry at sea,” said Gray. “We are humbled to follow the trailblazers in the LGBTQ+ community who paved the way for us.”

The wedding comes just a few months after marriage equality was legalized in Malta, where the ship is registered. Celebrity has been offering heterosexual wedding packages for years.

“Words cannot express how proud I am to congratulate Francisco and Benjamin at this truly historic moment, both for them and for Celebrity,” Celebrity CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said in a statement. “Together we are paving the way for couples around the world to know that their love and commitment is to be celebrated equally, and that everyone is welcome on board a Celebrity cruise.”

Lutoff-Perlo also took to Twitter to express her joy.

Carnival cruise lines had planned to introduce same-sex weddings at sea this year, but was forced to cancel after Bermuda rescinded its marriage equality law after just six months.

Zachary Zane is a writer and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, culture, and academic research. He has contributed to The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and The Advocate.
@ZacharyZane