Two Men Become The First Gay Couple To Marry In Germany
People in Germany are celebrating the first ever gay marriage in the country, on the day same-sex marriage became legal there.
Two men, Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, who have been together for 38 years, tied the knot in Schöneberg, Berlin, BBC reports, making history as the first men to wed in the country.
Germany has introduced a new law which now allows gay couples to exchange vows and get married. Previously homosexual couples could enter into registered partnerships, though this meant they weren't considered as the same status of being 'married'.
BBC reports that the new law gives the same tax advantages and adoption rights to gay couples, as heterosexual couples.
"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 saying 'I do.'
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Back in June a snap vote was called and a clear majority of German MPs voted to legalise same-sex marriage, after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote.
Previously, in 2013, Merkel was against gay men and lesbians having marital rights due to "children's welfare", and admitted to having a "hard time" with the subject, according to the BBC.
Gay marriage becomes legal in Germany for first time today. Couple who have been together for 38 years is first to get married. :flag_de: :flag_white:️:rainbow: pic.twitter.com/OWrTI0PiEl- Mike Sington (@MikeSington) October 1, 2017
Up to 393 lawmakers reportedly voted to approve the notion, whereas 226 voted against.
AFP news agency reports that the German legal code will now read: "Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex."
Merkel opposed the vote, however, she told members of the conservative Christian Democrat party (CDU) to "follow their conscience".
"Merkel was the one who enabled this to be a vote of conscience. She has her opinion, and I can tolerate that. But she still allowed it to happen, so for me that's a positive thing," Larissa, a lesbian, told BBC at the annual Lesbian and Gay Festival near Nollendorfplatz.
Berlin's SPD mayor Michael Mülle added: ""We managed to push this through against the will of the CDU. How Merkel behaved baffled many people. It's clear that it was a pure election tactic, and voters always take such things badly."
Featured Image Credit: PA