Couple make history in first female same-sex wedding on British Antarctic Territory

A couple have made history after holding the first female same-sex wedding in the British Antarctic Territory (BAT).

Sarah and June Synder-Kamen, from Berlin, tied the knot on Valentine's Day at Bongrain Point, Pourquoi Pas Island - coinciding with LGBT+ history month.

They exchanged wedding rings and vows before a British Antarctic marriage officer and a colony of Adelie penguins, along with fresh snowfall to complete the romantic atmosphere.

After returning home, Sarah, a 30-year-old retired staff sergeant in the US Marines, and June, a 27-year-old German IT consultant, said: "We could not have asked for a more perfect day and guestlist to celebrate with us.

"We were surprised and delighted to learn from the BAT office that we were the first female same-sex couple to be married in Antarctica.

"To all the activists who fought for marriage equality and made this day a reality, we are eternally grateful. We would also like to thank the BAT office for their support and cooperation."

The marriage was registered by the BAT government, based in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

It is the first wedding involving a female couple since BAT marriage laws were reformed in 2016.

Paul Candler, His Majesty's Commissioner for BAT, said: "I am honoured that Sarah and June chose the British Antarctic Territory as the venue for their special day.

"During LGBT+ history month, this is a wonderful demonstration of how love is love, even in the very remotest parts of the world.

"I'd like to offer the couple my congratulations and warmest wishes for a long and happy life together."

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Last April, RRS David Attleborough stewards Eric Bourne and Stephen Carpenter were the first same-sex couple to marry in the Territory.

This year marks 250 years of the UK in Antarctica, after Captain James Cook became the first person to cross the Antarctic Circle on his ship, Resolution, in 1773.

BAT is the largest of the UK's 14 Overseas Territories, covering around one-sixth of the continent.

The British presence there is dedicated to promoting peace and stability, scientific research, and protection of the natural environment and heritage.