Saint Helena has seen its first ever same-sex wedding

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Swedish national Michael Wernstedt tied the knot with native citizen Lemarc Thomas in a beautiful ceremony on December 31 2018. The event came just over a year since Governor Lisa Phillips signed a law that made same-sex marriages legal in the island. Registrar Karen Yon oversaw the historic gay wedding on the tiny British territory, which is home to 4,500 people and sits in the South Atlantic Ocean island some 1,000 miles from South America and Africa. In December 2017, the territory’s Legislative Council approved marriage equality by nine votes to two. Even though religious factor was mentioned in the law (people are not obliged to perform same-sex marriages if their religion forbids them to), there still were those who considered the marriage equality law discriminatory. One of the two councillors to vote against the bill, Cyril Leo, warned it would cause a “deep divide” on the island, which measures just 10 by five miles. He said he was afraid of the negative reaction from “homophobic elements,” but bowed to the majority’s decision.

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