Couple accidentally become first to marry in Faroe Islands
A couple who wanted a quiet, fuss-free wedding in the Faroe Islands have accidentally become the first gay couple to tie the knot there.
London-based gay couple Leslie Travers and Richard McBride, 48 and 37, became the first same-sex couple to marry in the Faroe Islands after travelling there for a low-key wedding.
The Faroe Islands, a small autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark which has a population of just 50,000, recently passed a law to allow same-sex couples to wed.
However, no local rushed to immediately take advantage of the law – meaning that Mr Travers and Mr McBride were the first couple to tie the knot there when they wed on Wednesday.
The pair did not find out until the morning of their wedding that they were the first gay couple to be married in the country.
Mr Travers said: “We came here to have a quiet marriage ceremony, it just so happened that we’re the first same-sex couple to be married in the Faroe Islands.
“Good on this beautiful place to recognise marriage equality.”
The pair, who have been together for 16 years, had decided to have what they thought would be a very low-key wedding in the rural North Atlantic country.
Though they got rather more attention than they had bargained for, the newlyweds said it was a “beautiful day in a fantastic country with wonderful people”.
According to LGBT Føroyar, the national LGBT organisation in the Faroe Islands, there are local gay couples who already have settled on future wedding dates – but none have yet married.
The Faeoe Islands became the final Nordic country to legalise marriage equality earlier this year.
The archipelago known as the Faroe Islands, which is self-governing, voted to make it legal for same-sex couples to marry.
However the legislation required a change in law from the government of Denmark in order to be put into practice.
The mainland of Denmark legalised same-sex marriage back in 2012, including religious ceremonies.
The Faroese raised concerns that Christians would be opposed to the measure if it included church weddings, however, so religious weddings were not included in their law.
The Danish Parliament approved legislation to allow for the islands’ rule in a vote approved 108-0.
Laws against homophobic discrimination in employment were introduced by the country’s government in 2006.