South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has invited same-sex couples to participate in its annual Valentine’s Day mass marriage ceremony held at the historic Robben Island Museum.

The island – just off Cape Town’s coast – is known around the world for being Nelson’s Mandela’s former prison. It is now a popular tourist attraction.

In a media statement issued this week, the department called on same-sex couples to register for the event as soon as possible.

“Since the inception of the initiative in 2000, the esteemed World Heritage Site has been transformed into a romantic rendezvous on Valentine’s Day (14 February 2007) by couples from all over the world” says the statement. According to Home Affairs, over 120 marriages have been conducted at the museum.

This year’s event will see the first same-sex marriage to be solemnized in the museum, following the passing of the Civil Union Act 2006 (which accords same-sex couples the same rights and status as heterosexual married couples).

Couples wishing to partake are advised to urgently contact Milly Phillips on (021) 462 4994 or Angela Joshua on (021) 465 1183.

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