1967: Vintage Gay Couple marry in Catholic Church

vintage gay couple Jean Knockhaert Henryk Rietra 1967 same sex wedding

Today: a vintage gay couple. Decades before the Netherlands legalised same-sex marriage, John Knockhaert and Henyrk Rietra held their 1967 gay wedding in a Rotterdam Catholic Church…


… a Catholic priest officiated at the ceremony! 🏳️‍🌈

The local bishop later distanced the church from the wedding, claiming the devious gays tricked a trusting and notably inattentive priest. 🤪

Another snippet of queercentric news from Australian media history.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the two young men exchanged wedding rings in a small private chapel.💒  According to the paper, word of the ceremony leaked when an altar boy told his father he saw the two men exchange rings.

Maybe. Maybe not. Because our vintage gay couple boldly engaged a professional photographer to document their historic gay wedding. Soon after, the wedding snaps, along with details of the ceremony, appeared in the American Jet Magazine.

 Henryk Rietra John Knockhaert gay wedding vintage gay couple
L-R: Henryk Rietra & John Knockhaert with witnesses Leon de Klerk and Peter Maas. Image: National Library of the Netherlands.

Not a gay wedding says angry bishop

The Bishop of Rotterdam promptly denounced the marriage. He claimed John Knockhaert and Henyrk Rietra had requested not a gay wedding but a simple mass. According to the bishop, they asked Father Omtzigt to officiate at a mass to celebrate one of their mother’s birthdays, their mutual business venture (Rotterdam’s famous Welcome Bar) and their friendship.

When John and Henyrk exchanged wedding rings, John’s mother cried and the photographer snapped pics. But according to the bishop, Father Omtzigt never saw a thing. 👀

“He was tricked into performing what he thought was a confirmation of a life-long friendship. The marriage is not valid. Even though we want to help homosexuals and respond to their religious needs, the church draws the line when it comes to marriage and the exchange of wedding rings between adult males.”

But John Knockhaert begged to disagree when he spoke to Jet Magazine after the couple returned from their honeymoon.

“No matter what anybody says, it was a real wedding.” 🏳️‍🌈❤️🏳️‍🌈

More same-sex wedding history:

2001: The first legal gay weddings in the Netherlands.

Brisbane’s Secret History: 1930s Same-Sex Weddings.

Nixon Ambassador’s 1970s same-sex marriage advocacy cost her a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *