World’s Littlest Country Legalizes Gay Marriage

Photo via Passport Magazine

Photo via Passport Magazine

The Pitcairn Islands, the least-populated national jurisdiction in the world, quietly legalized same-sex matrimony last month among its 56 residents.

Encompassing four volcanic islands in the South Pacific – Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno – Pitcairn is the last and only British Overseas Territory in the region. Most natives of the archipelago’s second-largest isle can trace their ancestry back to the mutineers of the British navy vessel Bounty, or to the Tahitians that traveled with them at the close of the eighteenth century.

The new mandate, Same Sex Marriage and Civil Partnership Ordinance 2015, went into effect on May 15, granting islanders the ability to wed their same-sex partners – that is, if the island boasted any same-sex couples.

Pitcairn Deputy Governor Kevin Lynch said Monday that the law was recommended by British authorities following legalizations last year in England, Wales, and Scotland, respectively.

According to The Independent, the tiny nation “has made the move despite having a population of 48 and no gay couples looking to wed,” with locals citing that there was “no reason not to.”

The same-sex sanction was “unanimously approved by the local council” according to Pitcairn’s deputy governor, and could attract same-sex couples, especially Australians, who are unable to marry in their own country, to set sail for these sandy shores, which enjoy year-round warm weather, but are only accessible by boat.

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