Ger­many has its first same-sex wed­ding

The Guardian Weekly - - Diversions - Kate Con­nolly

As they en­tered the golden room of Schöneberg town hall to the strains of Men­delssohn’s Wed­ding March, Bodo Mende and Karl Kreile were only do­ing what tens of thou­sands of oth­ers had done be­fore – ty­ing the knot in front of friends and fam­ily in the south­ern Berlin district.

But they were also mak­ing his­tory as the first same-sex cou­ple able to marry in Ger­many, af­ter a new law came into force on 1 Oc­to­ber.

“Af­ter 38 years to­gether, this is a day we’ve waited a long time for,” 59-year-old Kreile said.

Mende, 60, said it was a “huge hon­our” for the cou­ple to be the first in Ger­many to marry. “I re­mem­ber the shame we felt when we were turned away from a reg­istry of­fice 25 years ago when we con­fronted the regis­trar as part of an or­gan­ised protest. They made us feel like sec­ond­class ci­ti­zens.”

Ger­many has now be­come the 14th Euro­pean coun­try to le­galise gay mar­riage, and the 23rd world­wide.

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