News Brief: Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

News Brief Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

News Brief:  Germany Celebrates as First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place

Germans celebrated this past weekend as the first same-sex couples married after the law was changed to legalize the unions. 

Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, together for 38 years before they tied the knot, got married in Berlin on Sunday, October 1st.  The couple met in 1979 and have been campaigning for LGBT right since.  At 9:30 am local time, their perseverance paid off and they were wed at the Schoneberg, Berlin town hall.  The two are believed to be the first same-sex couple to marry under the new law.

“We have finally achieved legal equality,” Mende said on Friday.  “It’s been 25 years’ of hard struggle to secure this.”

Registry offices in Germany opened especially as today was the first day that same-sex couples could marry.

German MPs voted by a clear majority to legalize same-sex marriage back in June.  After years of campaigning, things moved swiftly with a vote being announced, carried out, and successfully passed in just a matter of days.  393 members of parliament voted in favour of the bill, with 296 voting against and 4 abstentions.

Previously, same-sex couples could not get married but instead were only allowed to enter into civil unions.  Same-sex couples will now be able to have all the rights connected to existing marriage laws. This includes joint adoption.

The German legal code now reads: “Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex.”

“After years of waiting and hoping, rainbow families in Germany will now receive equal recognition under the law,” said ILGA-Europe Executive Director Evelyne Paradis.  “This is a historic milestone that can inspire even more change for LGBTI people.  This result has taken years of persistence – and now there is momentum in Germany.  Marriage equality is not the final destination.”