After lengthy debate, the German parliament passed a historic vote in July 2017 that approved marriage equality. As the new law became legal on October 1st, the country’s first same-sex wedding was celebrated in Schoeneberg, Berlin.
Bodo Mende and Karl Kreile were wed after 38 years together, to cheers and applause from the crowd of friends and press. After signing the official marriage documents, the couple posed for photos with the wedding cake, which featured the words “marriage for all” and a rainbow flag.
Kreile said he and Mende had fought for gay rights for years, and it was an “incredible honour” to be Germany’s first same-sex couple to be wed. The couple planned to honeymoon in Vienna after the wedding reception.
Joerg Steinert, the head of gay and lesbian rights organisation LSVD in Berlin, said the day was “long overdue.” He added that “this day sends a significant signal, which is that the state’s discrimination of lesbians and gays is finished.”
Wedding guest and longtime friend of the Mende and Kreile, Ulrich Kessler, summed up the importance of the new law. “The state has recognised that if two people want to stand by each other then that’s a marriage, regardless of their sex.”
Germany are now the 23rd country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.