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.
“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.
I am so happy to congratulate Francisco & Benjamin on making history as the 1st legal same-sex marriage at sea! Their @CelebrityCruise onboard wedding paves the way for all to know their love is celebrated equally. Here's to their happily ever after! #LoveIsLove #LGBTQ pic.twitter.com/Afgcsqbr8i
— Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (@LisaLutoffPerlo) January 30, 2018
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cruise lines had planned to introduce same-sex weddings at sea this year, but was forced to cancel after Bermuda rescinded its marriage equality law after just six months.