The beach of Eressos was host to the first-ever wedding ceremony between two women in the history of the island of Lesvos, joining a British lesbian couple in marriage beneath the statue of the poetess Sappho.
The wedding, carried out on Wednesday morning, was conducted in accordance with UK law and will be formally concluded when the couple return to Britain. Despite a recent law allowing civil partnerships between same sex couples in Greece, the law does not apply to foreign nationals that are not permanently resident in Greece.
The wedding was organised by the owner of the travel agency “Sappho Travel” Ioanna Savva – who also organises the Women’s Festival held in Eressos every September – on behalf of the UK-based wedding organisers’ ‘Sappho Wedding’.
In statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Savva emphasised the significance of the event held on the site of ancient Eressos, which has great significance for the global lesbian community. Eressos was the birthplace of Sappho, an archaic female poet whose poems extolled the right to love and desire between women.
As to the legality of the ceremony, Savva said that it was carried out by a person with the authority to perform a wedding ceremony under UK law, who would be able to conduct similar ceremonies in the future.
Greek law currently permits same sex couples to enter into a civil partnership – though not marriage – if they are either Greek nationals, foreign nationals with a residence permit allowing them to live in Greece or if either of the two partners is a Greek national.