Germany’s first gay couple kiss after tying the knot
Two German men have made history by saying “I do” and becoming the first gay couple to marry after decades of struggle. And they sealed their marital vows with a passionate kiss, publicly.
Bodo Mende, 60, and partner Karl Kreile, 59, exchanged their vows infront of photographers and TV crews from around the world who packed the south Berlin registry office alongside their friends and family.
“I’m unbelievably satisfied, this is extremely symbolic to be recognised as a completely normal couple and no longer to have a second-class marriage,” Kreile said after the two cut a slice of rainbow cake.
Mende and Kreile, longtime gay marriage campaigners who have been together since 1979, wanted to tie the knot as soon as possible — after being among the first to enter a civil partnership back in 2002.
“This is a day we can really call historic,” Angelika Schoettler, mayor of the capital’s Tempelhof-Schoeneberg district, told the pair. “I hope a great many couples will seal a bond for life in this room, or others like it.”
The dash to exchange vows comes three months after lawmakers voted to give Germany’s roughly 94,000 same-sex couples the right to marry, following a shift in position by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany becomes the 15th European nation to legalise gay marriage.