Only 18 years after the nation of Cyprus decriminalized homosexuality, the Eastern Mediterranean island nation has hosted its first same-sex wedding.
Greek Cypriot couple Marios Frixou, 36, and Fanos Eleftheriades, 26 celebrated their civil union with each other with a traditional style wedding ceremony that was presided over by the Nicosia District Officer.
Frixou’s mother presented the two grooms with antique gold coins which they hung around each other’s necks.
The couple exhanged vows accompanied by their “best women” and then headed to their reception where hundreds of relatives and friends were waiting for them.
The couple then danced to a traditional Greek wedding song while guests feasted on roast pork and presented them with cash filled envelopes to help the couple start the next faze of their lives together.
Frixou and Eleftheriades have been in a relationship for seven years but civil unions for same-sex couples only became available in December.
The couple said they decided to make their wedding so public to inspire other Cypriot same-sex couples to feel comfortable in celebrating their love openly.
‘We wanted to give courage to other couples and to all gay and transgender people to accept themselves and not to be ashamed of who they are,’ Mr Frixou told Neos Kosmos.
‘We’ve gotten scores of messages from people telling us how much courage we’ve given them.’
Cyprus only held its first LGBTI pride march in June of 2014.