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Gay Marriage for Australians, too: During a Gay Cruise

(Blogmensgo, gay blog of October 16, 2017) Before the official results of the Yes-No referendum about same-sex marriage in Australia, the American ocean carrier Celebrity Cruises offers gay and lesbian couples from all around the world to get married during a cruise, including Australian nationals. Such marriages are basically valid everywhere in the world except in countries that have not yet legalized same-sex marriage, such as in Australia. This is a direct result of Malta’s legalizing gay marriage.

Ship and rainbow

Wedding under the rainbow on a cruise ship. ©celebritycruises.com

Rainbow flags and Maltese pavilion

Based in Florida, Celebrity Cruises specializes on cruises with a theme such as honeymoon, wedding parties and such. The ocean carrier has long supported the LGBTQ community, and one of the photos on the website shows the rainbow flag.

Most of their ships fly the Maltese flag, which means Maltese law governs life on board – at least in Malta and in international waters. On July 12, 2017, the Maltese parliament legalized gay marriage, and the president ratified it shortly after. In the meantime, all relevant laws and regulations were modified to reflect the new situation, and same-sex couples may now marry in Malta even if one of the two partners is a foreigner or the wedding is held outside of Maltese national territory. Therefore, weddings held on any Maltese ship have been legally valid since October 11, 2017 (which happens to be National Coming-out Day).

Otter and cruise ship

The Galapagos Islands. ©celebritycruises.com

Here is an advertisement text of the Floridian cruise company (in extracts):

Government regulations now allow for captains to perform legal marriages while the ships sail the seas of the world […]. These legal, captain-led wedding ceremonies are performed under the Maltese flag and complement our […] offerings.

Marine air and hefty prices

It is not surprising that such a wedding cruise may not be a good fit to anyone’s wallet. The Maltese government administration asks for $750 for each marriage license, to be paid in advance.

Back to Australia: Although the Celebrity website mentions a number of Australian ports, its ships only dock in Sydney harbor.

How does it work?

The cruise company wants to receive the documents required for a wedding at least 10 weeks before boarding day. As of today, reservations for a wedding on board can only be made after November 28, 2017.

12 ships

The ocean carrier manages a total of 12 ships. ©celebritycruises.com

That leaves to say that Celebrity Cruises adapts its terminology to the national requirements in each case, such as: bride, groom, partner, wife, husband.

After a wedding on board, such marriages are valid in Malta and in all countries allowing same-sex marriages – not (yet) in Australia though.

Frank-S / MensGo
Main source: Miami Herald, October 11, 2017.
Initial source: huffingtonpost.com.au, October 13, 2017.

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