Same-sex couples can now marry on the high seas. On Wednesday's National Coming Out Day, the LGBTQ+ community learned of a new wedding venue where they can celebrate their nuptials—Celebrity Cruises' fleet of ships. The cruise liner company has just announced that they will now perform same-sex marriages onboard vessels sailing in international waters, making them the first fleet of liners to do so.
Instead of saying I do at a more traditional venue, tons of (until now, straight) couples opt to answer the siren call of nautical nuptials, tying the knot on an ocean liner sailing the seas. And now, LGBTQ+ couples will finally be able to as well. "Celebrity Cruises has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and I cannot think of a more important time in our history than right now to do all we can to support inclusion. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that starting today, we welcome same-sex couples to marry on our ships while in international waters," stated the president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. "This is one for the history books!"
According to PR Newswire, the decision comes after a recent referendum passed in the European country of Malta (where the majority of Celebrity Cruises' ships are registered), legalizing same-sex marriages in the nation. Due to the historic vote, Celebrity Cruises can now legally recognize same-sex marriages performed by cruise captains in international seas.
"Celebrity Weddings has already hosted many same-sex weddings in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, where legal," explained Barbara Whitehall, managing director of the cruise line’s Wedding Experience program. "We are ecstatic that this new Malta ruling opens up marriage equality for anyone and everyone sailing with Celebrity Cruises while in international waters."
As of yet, no LGBTQ+ couple has ever been pronounced legally wed in international waters according to information from the Wedding Experience, as related to The Sun Sentinel. Although a number of other cruise companies—such as Princess, Cunard, and Carnival—have announced that their captains will begin hosting legal same-sex nuptials beginning in January 2018, Celebrity Cruises can start performing weddings for their LGBTQ+ identifying passengers right now! All aboard!