St Helena

St Helena, the remote volcanic outpost in the South Atlantic Ocean, famous as the place of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile and death, has voted to make marriage equality a reality.

First reported by St Helena Online, the St Helena legislative council voted nine votes for and two against legalising same-sex marriage for their almost 6,000 residents.

As a result of the decision gay and lesbian couples living on the island will be able to get married within weeks.

Speaking about the decision, the Honourable Cyril Leo said that he feared that the passage of marriage equality could lead to a homophobic backlash on the island, however, urged people to embrace the decision and to “make love our greatest quest.”

The Hon. Christine Scipio-O’Dea said, “We cannot discriminate. We must not, and we must strive to ensure equality.”

The Hon. Lawson Henry added that “This bill has never been about religion, it is about equality and protection of minority groups.”

the marriage equality decision which is believed to help boost the local economy, follows the recent opening of the islands international airport, making the island much more accessible to the world.

Prior to any same-sex wedding occurring on the island, Governor Lisa Phillips will need to approve the marriage equality bill before it becomes law.

St Helena is also famous for having the oldest living gay creature on the planet, a 186-year-old tortoise named Jonathan, who In 1991, was successfully paired up with his partner, Frederica. The couple who mated regularly over the last three decades, where however only recently, discovered to be both males, resulting in Frederica being renamed, Frederic.

St Helena, which is a British Overseas Territory, follows nations Australia, Austria, Germany, Malta, and Taiwan, in embracing marriage equality.