First Gay Couple Get Married Under Germany’s Same-Sex Marriage Law

Bodo Mende and Karl Kreile have become the first same-sex couple to get married in Germany.

In June, German lawmakers voted to legalise same-sex marriage, and the couple’s wedding at Schoeneberg district town hall in Berlin on Sunday was the first since the new law came into effect.


Kreile and Mende first met in 1979 and have lived in a civil partnership since 2002. At the end of their wedding ceremony, they cut a cake decorated with a rainbow and the phrase “Ehe fuer alle,” which translates to “marriage for all”.

“After 38 years together, this is a day we’ve waited a long time for,” Kreile told The Guardian.

“We’ve actively campaigned for decades for the state to recognize us as equals, and finally we are able to celebrate a day we once thought may never come in our lifetimes.”

Mende added: “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 organized protest. They made us feel like second-class citizens.”

Jörg Steinert, head of German LGBTI rights organisation LSVD, said he was pleased the country is “finally joining the rest of Europe” in allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Germany is the 14th European country and the 23rd worldwide to legalise same-sex marriage.

Days after conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed her party members a a conscience vote on the issue in June, it was put to a vote and passed, even though Merkel personally voted against it.

The reform gives same-sex couples in Germany full marital rights and allows them to adopt children.

(Top photo by LSVD-Bundesverband)

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