Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Same-sex marriage on British base a first among overseas UK forces

UK Ministry of Defence handout photo of (left to right) Sergeant Alastair Smith, Aaron Weston and Sovereign Base Area Administrator Air Vice Marshal Mike Wigston during the first same-sex wedding on a British overseas base

An Army sergeant has married his partner in the first same-sex wedding in a British Forces overseas territory, the Press Association (PA) reported on Friday.

Alastair Smith, of the 2nd Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, tied the knot with civilian Aaron Weston in Dhekelia, Cyprus, the report said, citing the British ministry of defence.

Air Vice Marshal Mike Wigston, the Sovereign Base Area Administrator (SBAA), approved and conducted the ceremony on September 10.

Members of his regiment, nicknamed the Tigers, attended alongside the couple’s family and friends, PA said.

Pictures shared by the couple on social media showed the men wearing cream trousers and waistcoats, with pink buttonholes and pink bow ties, and embracing for their first kiss by the waterfront at Fisherman’s Cove.

Sgt Smith, 36, said: “As well as having the great honour of being able to serve in an infantry battalion in the British Army, it’s also an honour to be able to commit myself to my husband with the full backing and support of the British Army in the unique environment that Cyprus offers.

“In a country that is pushing forward on matters of gender and equality, both Cyprus and the SBAA have been massively supportive. We are proud to be able to serve and live in this community.”

Sgt Smith’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Davies, said: “I am delighted that Sergeant Smith and Aaron were able to get married on the Dhekelia coastline – a cracking choice. On behalf of the Battalion and wider ‘Tigers’ community, we wish them the very best of happiness for the future.”

And Private Liam Gibson, who works for Sgt Smith, said: “Everybody wants to be with the person they love, regardless of gender and I’m over the moon to be a part of the wedding of two good friends of mine.”

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