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Pitcairn Island, the ‘world’s smallest country’, legalises same-sex marriage

The tiny nation has made the move despite having a population of 48 and no gay couples looking to wed saying that there was ‘no reason not to’

  • Alex Ward

  • Monday 22 June 2015 10:23






Click to follow
The Independent

The world’s smallest country by population has legalised same-sex marriage, despite having no gay couples to wed

(

AP

)

One of the world’s smallest countries has legalised same-sex marriage , despite having no gay couples to wed.

First settled by mutineers in 1790, with a population of 48, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory and is considered the world’s smallest country by population and is only slightly larger than Monaco.

Kevin Lynch, deputy governor of Pitcairn said that the new law had come into effect on 15 May, but at the time wasn’t published due to technical issues with the island’s website.

The change was suggested after British authorities in England, Wales and Scotland legalised same-sex marriage last year. The law change was unanimously approved by the local council.


Created with Sketch.











Inspirational quotes about LGBT rights

Show all 29

Created with Sketch.





















Created with Sketch.





















Created with Sketch.









Inspirational quotes about LGBT rights

1/29 Caitlyn Jenner

“Why do people think it’s OK to ask deeply personal questions when you’re transgender?”
Reuters / Vanity Fair

2/29 Kanye West

“Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything,” the rapper said about Jenner.
Getty Images

3/29 Stephen Fry

“Homosexuals are not interested in making other people homosexuals. Homophobes are interested in making other people homophobic.”
Rex

4/29 Hillary Clinton

“Gay rights are human rights.”
Getty Images

5/29 Anderson Cooper – Journalist and TV host

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
Getty Images

6/29 Laverne Cox – Actress

‘”We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.”

7/29 PM David Cameron

“I am proud that we have made same-sex marriage happen. I am delighted that the love two people have for each other — and the commitment they want to make — can now be recognised as equal.”
AFP/Getty Images

8/29 Kellie Maloney

“We don’t have a choice. People think we wake up one morning, put a dress on and be a woman. I knew about it when I was very young but I was brought up in a male world and had responsibilities, I was frightened and I wanted to beat it. I didn’t want to lose my friends. In the end I was so depressed and so desperate, I tried to commit suicide about three times.”
Getty

9/29 Ellen DeGeneres – comedian and TV host

“To me beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.”

10/29 President Barack Obama

“Just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”
AFP/Getty Images

11/29 Zac Efron – Actor

“To me, being gay was just another way that you can be.”
Getty Images

12/29 Lance Bass – former NSYNC member

“The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say. I don’t think it’s wrong, I;m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy.”
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

13/29 Ed Miliband – former Labour leader

“Whether you’re gay or straight, you should be able to signify your commitment, your love, with the term marriage.”
Reuters

14/29 Kate Bornstein – Author

“Gender is not sane. It’s not sane to call a rainbow black and white.”
Getty Images

15/29 Adam Levine – Maroon 5’s singer

“Maybe we should make straight marriage illegal. It doesn’t seem to have a very high success rate.”
GETTY IMAGES

16/29 Tom Daley – Olympic diver

“I felt so alone and trapped in who I was… for people to be so supportive about it has been amazing.”

17/29 Kurt Cobain – Former musician

“I’m not gay, although I wish I were just to piss off the homophobes.”
Getty Images

18/29 Jay-Z – Rapper

“You choose to love whoever you love. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks.”
PA

19/29 Brittney Griner – Basketball player

“I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.”
Rex Features

20/29 Daniel Radcliffe – Actor

“You don’t have to be gay to be a supporter, you just have to be human.”
Getty Images

21/29 Nick Jonas – musician

“My thoughts on gay marriage are that everyone has the right to love and be loved, and that’s the position I take.”
Getty Images

22/29 Elle Page – Actress

“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission… I suffered for years because I was scared to be out… I’m gay.”
Getty Images

23/29 Michael Sam – NFL player

“I want to own my truth… No one else should tell my story but me.”
Getty Images

24/29 Pink – singer

“I think the best day will be when we no longer talk about being gay or straight… It’s not a gay wedding, it’s just a wedding. It’s not a gay marriage, it’s just a marriage.”

25/29 Jason Collins – former NFL player

“When I acknowledged my sexuality, I felt whole for the first time.”
GETTY IMAGES

26/29 Ricky Martin – singer

“Acceptance has to come from within and this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.”

27/29 Frank Ocean – Musician

“I believe that marriage isn’t between a man and a woman; but between love and love.”
Getty Images

28/29 Neil Patrick Harris – Actor

“I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest.”
Getty Images

29/29 Elton John

“So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.”
Getty Images

1/29 Caitlyn Jenner

“Why do people think it’s OK to ask deeply personal questions when you’re transgender?”
Reuters / Vanity Fair

2/29 Kanye West

“Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything,” the rapper said about Jenner.
Getty Images

3/29 Stephen Fry

“Homosexuals are not interested in making other people homosexuals. Homophobes are interested in making other people homophobic.”
Rex

4/29 Hillary Clinton

“Gay rights are human rights.”
Getty Images

5/29 Anderson Cooper – Journalist and TV host

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
Getty Images

6/29 Laverne Cox – Actress

‘”We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.”

7/29 PM David Cameron

“I am proud that we have made same-sex marriage happen. I am delighted that the love two people have for each other — and the commitment they want to make — can now be recognised as equal.”
AFP/Getty Images

8/29 Kellie Maloney

“We don’t have a choice. People think we wake up one morning, put a dress on and be a woman. I knew about it when I was very young but I was brought up in a male world and had responsibilities, I was frightened and I wanted to beat it. I didn’t want to lose my friends. In the end I was so depressed and so desperate, I tried to commit suicide about three times.”
Getty

9/29 Ellen DeGeneres – comedian and TV host

“To me beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.”

10/29 President Barack Obama

“Just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”
AFP/Getty Images

11/29 Zac Efron – Actor

“To me, being gay was just another way that you can be.”
Getty Images

12/29 Lance Bass – former NSYNC member

“The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say. I don’t think it’s wrong, I;m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy.”
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

13/29 Ed Miliband – former Labour leader

“Whether you’re gay or straight, you should be able to signify your commitment, your love, with the term marriage.”
Reuters

14/29 Kate Bornstein – Author

“Gender is not sane. It’s not sane to call a rainbow black and white.”
Getty Images

15/29 Adam Levine – Maroon 5’s singer

“Maybe we should make straight marriage illegal. It doesn’t seem to have a very high success rate.”
GETTY IMAGES

16/29 Tom Daley – Olympic diver

“I felt so alone and trapped in who I was… for people to be so supportive about it has been amazing.”

17/29 Kurt Cobain – Former musician

“I’m not gay, although I wish I were just to piss off the homophobes.”
Getty Images

18/29 Jay-Z – Rapper

“You choose to love whoever you love. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks.”
PA

19/29 Brittney Griner – Basketball player

“I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.”
Rex Features

20/29 Daniel Radcliffe – Actor

“You don’t have to be gay to be a supporter, you just have to be human.”
Getty Images

21/29 Nick Jonas – musician

“My thoughts on gay marriage are that everyone has the right to love and be loved, and that’s the position I take.”
Getty Images

22/29 Elle Page – Actress

“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission… I suffered for years because I was scared to be out… I’m gay.”
Getty Images

23/29 Michael Sam – NFL player

“I want to own my truth… No one else should tell my story but me.”
Getty Images

24/29 Pink – singer

“I think the best day will be when we no longer talk about being gay or straight… It’s not a gay wedding, it’s just a wedding. It’s not a gay marriage, it’s just a marriage.”

25/29 Jason Collins – former NFL player

“When I acknowledged my sexuality, I felt whole for the first time.”
GETTY IMAGES

26/29 Ricky Martin – singer

“Acceptance has to come from within and this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.”

27/29 Frank Ocean – Musician

“I believe that marriage isn’t between a man and a woman; but between love and love.”
Getty Images

28/29 Neil Patrick Harris – Actor

“I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest.”
Getty Images

29/29 Elton John

“So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.”
Getty Images

Meralda Warren, a resident of the island, said that there hadn’t been any same-sex marriages since the law passed but that there was no reason not to pass the law.

“It’s not Pitcairn Islanders that were pushing for it,” Ms Warren said. “But it’s like anything else in the world. It’s happening everywhere else, so why not?”


Ms Warren added: “I kind of cracked up when I saw the Google alert in my inbox.

“I scanned down, and smiled again, and thought: ‘we’ve kept that one quiet for a couple of months’.”

Ms Warren was aware of just one islander who identified as gay and, while there are no gay couples on the island, they may have trouble marrying as the island’s only preacher was a Seventh-Day Adventist and opposed to gay marriage.

Read more

  • Couple threaten divorce over same-sex marriage

  • Ireland’s same-sex marriage vote a defeat for humanity

  • Mexico effectively legalises same-sex marriage

Rodney Croome, national director of Australian Marriage Equality said despite no gay couples living on the island, there could be some who may return to marry.

“Assuming there’s not a residency requirement, I could imagine some couple from off the island might find it a romantic destination, including Australians who can’t marry in their own country,” Mr Croome said.

“It shows how much the islanders value equality and inclusion.

It effectively says that gay islanders belong on Pitcairn Island as much as anyone else, and that’s a positive message,” he added.

Additional Reporting: AP










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Pitcairn Island, the ‘world’s smallest country’, legalises same-sex marriage

The tiny nation has made the move despite having a population of 48 and no gay couples looking to wed saying that there was ‘no reason not to’

  • Alex Ward

  • Monday 22 June 2015 10:23






Click to follow
The Independent

The world’s smallest country by population has legalised same-sex marriage, despite having no gay couples to wed

(

AP

)

One of the world’s smallest countries has legalised same-sex marriage , despite having no gay couples to wed.

First settled by mutineers in 1790, with a population of 48, Pitcairn is a British Overseas Territory and is considered the world’s smallest country by population and is only slightly larger than Monaco.

Kevin Lynch, deputy governor of Pitcairn said that the new law had come into effect on 15 May, but at the time wasn’t published due to technical issues with the island’s website.

The change was suggested after British authorities in England, Wales and Scotland legalised same-sex marriage last year. The law change was unanimously approved by the local council.


Created with Sketch.











Inspirational quotes about LGBT rights

Show all 29

Created with Sketch.





















Created with Sketch.





















Created with Sketch.









Inspirational quotes about LGBT rights

1/29 Caitlyn Jenner

“Why do people think it’s OK to ask deeply personal questions when you’re transgender?”
Reuters / Vanity Fair

2/29 Kanye West

“Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything,” the rapper said about Jenner.
Getty Images

3/29 Stephen Fry

“Homosexuals are not interested in making other people homosexuals. Homophobes are interested in making other people homophobic.”
Rex

4/29 Hillary Clinton

“Gay rights are human rights.”
Getty Images

5/29 Anderson Cooper – Journalist and TV host

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
Getty Images

6/29 Laverne Cox – Actress

‘”We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.”

7/29 PM David Cameron

“I am proud that we have made same-sex marriage happen. I am delighted that the love two people have for each other — and the commitment they want to make — can now be recognised as equal.”
AFP/Getty Images

8/29 Kellie Maloney

“We don’t have a choice. People think we wake up one morning, put a dress on and be a woman. I knew about it when I was very young but I was brought up in a male world and had responsibilities, I was frightened and I wanted to beat it. I didn’t want to lose my friends. In the end I was so depressed and so desperate, I tried to commit suicide about three times.”
Getty

9/29 Ellen DeGeneres – comedian and TV host

“To me beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.”

10/29 President Barack Obama

“Just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”
AFP/Getty Images

11/29 Zac Efron – Actor

“To me, being gay was just another way that you can be.”
Getty Images

12/29 Lance Bass – former NSYNC member

“The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say. I don’t think it’s wrong, I;m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy.”
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

13/29 Ed Miliband – former Labour leader

“Whether you’re gay or straight, you should be able to signify your commitment, your love, with the term marriage.”
Reuters

14/29 Kate Bornstein – Author

“Gender is not sane. It’s not sane to call a rainbow black and white.”
Getty Images

15/29 Adam Levine – Maroon 5’s singer

“Maybe we should make straight marriage illegal. It doesn’t seem to have a very high success rate.”
GETTY IMAGES

16/29 Tom Daley – Olympic diver

“I felt so alone and trapped in who I was… for people to be so supportive about it has been amazing.”

17/29 Kurt Cobain – Former musician

“I’m not gay, although I wish I were just to piss off the homophobes.”
Getty Images

18/29 Jay-Z – Rapper

“You choose to love whoever you love. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks.”
PA

19/29 Brittney Griner – Basketball player

“I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.”
Rex Features

20/29 Daniel Radcliffe – Actor

“You don’t have to be gay to be a supporter, you just have to be human.”
Getty Images

21/29 Nick Jonas – musician

“My thoughts on gay marriage are that everyone has the right to love and be loved, and that’s the position I take.”
Getty Images

22/29 Elle Page – Actress

“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission… I suffered for years because I was scared to be out… I’m gay.”
Getty Images

23/29 Michael Sam – NFL player

“I want to own my truth… No one else should tell my story but me.”
Getty Images

24/29 Pink – singer

“I think the best day will be when we no longer talk about being gay or straight… It’s not a gay wedding, it’s just a wedding. It’s not a gay marriage, it’s just a marriage.”

25/29 Jason Collins – former NFL player

“When I acknowledged my sexuality, I felt whole for the first time.”
GETTY IMAGES

26/29 Ricky Martin – singer

“Acceptance has to come from within and this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.”

27/29 Frank Ocean – Musician

“I believe that marriage isn’t between a man and a woman; but between love and love.”
Getty Images

28/29 Neil Patrick Harris – Actor

“I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest.”
Getty Images

29/29 Elton John

“So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.”
Getty Images

1/29 Caitlyn Jenner

“Why do people think it’s OK to ask deeply personal questions when you’re transgender?”
Reuters / Vanity Fair

2/29 Kanye West

“Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything,” the rapper said about Jenner.
Getty Images

3/29 Stephen Fry

“Homosexuals are not interested in making other people homosexuals. Homophobes are interested in making other people homophobic.”
Rex

4/29 Hillary Clinton

“Gay rights are human rights.”
Getty Images

5/29 Anderson Cooper – Journalist and TV host

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
Getty Images

6/29 Laverne Cox – Actress

‘”We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.”

7/29 PM David Cameron

“I am proud that we have made same-sex marriage happen. I am delighted that the love two people have for each other — and the commitment they want to make — can now be recognised as equal.”
AFP/Getty Images

8/29 Kellie Maloney

“We don’t have a choice. People think we wake up one morning, put a dress on and be a woman. I knew about it when I was very young but I was brought up in a male world and had responsibilities, I was frightened and I wanted to beat it. I didn’t want to lose my friends. In the end I was so depressed and so desperate, I tried to commit suicide about three times.”
Getty

9/29 Ellen DeGeneres – comedian and TV host

“To me beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.”

10/29 President Barack Obama

“Just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”
AFP/Getty Images

11/29 Zac Efron – Actor

“To me, being gay was just another way that you can be.”
Getty Images

12/29 Lance Bass – former NSYNC member

“The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say. I don’t think it’s wrong, I;m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy.”
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

13/29 Ed Miliband – former Labour leader

“Whether you’re gay or straight, you should be able to signify your commitment, your love, with the term marriage.”
Reuters

14/29 Kate Bornstein – Author

“Gender is not sane. It’s not sane to call a rainbow black and white.”
Getty Images

15/29 Adam Levine – Maroon 5’s singer

“Maybe we should make straight marriage illegal. It doesn’t seem to have a very high success rate.”
GETTY IMAGES

16/29 Tom Daley – Olympic diver

“I felt so alone and trapped in who I was… for people to be so supportive about it has been amazing.”

17/29 Kurt Cobain – Former musician

“I’m not gay, although I wish I were just to piss off the homophobes.”
Getty Images

18/29 Jay-Z – Rapper

“You choose to love whoever you love. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks.”
PA

19/29 Brittney Griner – Basketball player

“I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.”
Rex Features

20/29 Daniel Radcliffe – Actor

“You don’t have to be gay to be a supporter, you just have to be human.”
Getty Images

21/29 Nick Jonas – musician

“My thoughts on gay marriage are that everyone has the right to love and be loved, and that’s the position I take.”
Getty Images

22/29 Elle Page – Actress

“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission… I suffered for years because I was scared to be out… I’m gay.”
Getty Images

23/29 Michael Sam – NFL player

“I want to own my truth… No one else should tell my story but me.”
Getty Images

24/29 Pink – singer

“I think the best day will be when we no longer talk about being gay or straight… It’s not a gay wedding, it’s just a wedding. It’s not a gay marriage, it’s just a marriage.”

25/29 Jason Collins – former NFL player

“When I acknowledged my sexuality, I felt whole for the first time.”
GETTY IMAGES

26/29 Ricky Martin – singer

“Acceptance has to come from within and this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.”

27/29 Frank Ocean – Musician

“I believe that marriage isn’t between a man and a woman; but between love and love.”
Getty Images

28/29 Neil Patrick Harris – Actor

“I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest.”
Getty Images

29/29 Elton John

“So I am deeply saddened and shocked over the current legislation that is now in place against the LGBT community here in Russia. In my opinion, it is inhumane and it is isolating.”
Getty Images

Meralda Warren, a resident of the island, said that there hadn’t been any same-sex marriages since the law passed but that there was no reason not to pass the law.

“It’s not Pitcairn Islanders that were pushing for it,” Ms Warren said. “But it’s like anything else in the world. It’s happening everywhere else, so why not?”


Ms Warren added: “I kind of cracked up when I saw the Google alert in my inbox.

“I scanned down, and smiled again, and thought: ‘we’ve kept that one quiet for a couple of months’.”

Ms Warren was aware of just one islander who identified as gay and, while there are no gay couples on the island, they may have trouble marrying as the island’s only preacher was a Seventh-Day Adventist and opposed to gay marriage.

Read more

  • Couple threaten divorce over same-sex marriage

  • Ireland’s same-sex marriage vote a defeat for humanity

  • Mexico effectively legalises same-sex marriage

Rodney Croome, national director of Australian Marriage Equality said despite no gay couples living on the island, there could be some who may return to marry.

“Assuming there’s not a residency requirement, I could imagine some couple from off the island might find it a romantic destination, including Australians who can’t marry in their own country,” Mr Croome said.

“It shows how much the islanders value equality and inclusion.

It effectively says that gay islanders belong on Pitcairn Island as much as anyone else, and that’s a positive message,” he added.

Additional Reporting: AP










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Comments

Share your thoughts and debate the big issues

Learn more



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Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community
Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful
    language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

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Join the discussion

Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community
Guidelines.

Community Guidelines

  • You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful
    language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.


  • Loading comments…



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Anyone can post in open comments. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive
debates.

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Reply

Subscribe to Independent Minds to debate the big issues

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Information icon.svgThe 2018 moderator elections
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Pitcairn Islands

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The flag of the Pitcairn Islands.

The Pitcairn Islands are a set of four islands in the middle of nowhere, or more specifically, the Pacific Ocean. The main island (Pitcairn) is the only one that is inhabited by humans, and as of January 2014, there were only 49 of them there. [1]

Pitcairn’s remoteness is enhanced by only being accessible by sea and by only having one small dock that is only accessible by small boats. It’s also expensive to get to since the low numbers of people who want to visit give the boats that do go there monopoly power. The main ship, the Claymore II, only goes to Pitcairn every 3 months, costs NZ$5000 and leaves from Mangareva, Gambier Islands (French Polynesia). [2] [3] To get there you need to take a once a week flight from Tahiti. [4]

The islands were settled by 9 mutineers of the HMS Bounty Wikipedia's W.svg and 18 Polynesians that had accompanied them (6 men, 11 women, 1 baby girl), where they ended up murdering each other over a number of years, mostly over relationship drama. As you can guess, there was quite a lot of inbreeding due to the small founding population.

As a British Overseas Territory, the Pitcairn Islands are the only reason that the sun cannot set on the British Empire . [5]

Another consequence of being tied to the British Empire is that the Pitcairn Islands have a legal system which is absurdly out of proportion to their size. There is a Magistrates Court, which operates on Pitcairn, but above that there is a Supreme Court and a Court of Appeal, both of which operate in New Zealand , and appeals from the Court of Appeal may be made to the Privy Council, in England .

This was all theoretical until the 2000s, when it was discovered that a significant proportion of the population had committed sexual assault, and it was necessary to put them on trial. (If there was ever anywhere that the term rape culture could be applied to, it would have been Pitcairn around this time.) The trial cost the United Kingdom millions of pounds and the result was appealed through every level of the court structure, leaving the government to deal with arguments such as “You can’t get me, the Pitcairn Islands seceded from the British Empire!” and “You never gave me a copy of the law. How was I to know that sexual assault was illegal?”. [6] These arguments were all rejected.

Despite its extremely small population, the Pitcairn Islands are one of the only South Pacific jurisdictions to have a freedom of information law. [7] You don’t have to have any connection to Pitcairn to make a FOI request, so if there’s ever anything that you want to know about this small island, then this is a great way to find out.

As for democracy , there is an “Island Council” elected by the islanders, but this only has an advisory role , and all laws must be approved by the governor, who doesn’t actually live on the island, but to his credit does visit sometimes.

In 2016, the Island Council considered a request to adopt a ” virtual currency ” for Pitcairn, only to be told that the British Government would not let them do it. [8]

The Pitcairn Islands are actively encouraging immigration, due to concerns over its low population. If you ever want to move to another part of the world, then Pitcairn is probably the easiest place to get permission to move, if you don’t mind living in the middle of nowhere among convicted sex offenders, such as the mayor, Shawn Christian. [9]

References[ edit ]

  1. http://www.government.pn/Pitcairn%20Islands%20Economic%20Report%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf
  2. http://www.leeabbamonte.com/oceania/how-to-get-to-pitcairn-island.html
  3. https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Pitcairn#Get_in
  4. https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Gambier_Islands
  5. https://what-if.xkcd.com/48/
  6. http://www.paclii.org/pn/cases/PNSC/2004/1.html
  7. Freedom of Information Ordinance 2012
  8. http://pitcairn.gov.pn/minutes/Approved%20Council%20Mintues%20Jan%2027th%202016.pdf
  9. Pitcairn Islander guilty of child sex January 10, 2007 12:00AM. The Australian.
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