NewsFive years of marriage for everyone: Pioneer couple happily...

Five years of marriage for everyone: Pioneer couple happily married

Created: 09/29/2022 Updated: 09/29/2022, 2:07 p.m

"Ehe für Alle"
Karl Kreile (l) and Bodo Mende walk through Berlin in September 2017. The couple have been together since 1979 and were among the first to convert their civil partnership into marriage. © Britta Pedersen/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

They were a couple for 38 years and were finally able to marry in 2017: Bodo Mende and Karl Kreile from Berlin are one of the first homosexual couples who made the new marriage for everyone. How are you?

Berlin – They have been married for almost exactly five years, have been together for decades and are still happy: Bodo Mende and Karl Kreile were one of the first homosexual couples in Germany to say yes on October 1, 2017 in Berlin.

The two former civil servants are currently enjoying their retired lives and are on vacation in Sicily. “We will spend our wedding day in Palermo. We will certainly have a nice meal and enjoy the day,” says Bodo Mende of the German Press Agency.

Before the wedding, the two had been a couple for 38 years and had been in a registered civil partnership since 2002. “In practical life, not much has changed as a result of the marriage,” says Mende (65). “But the matter of course with which we are accepted as a married couple is now greater than before,” says the Berliner. So no one is taken aback when one of the two speaks of “his husband” when booking a hotel, for example. “No one is irritated anymore.”

There is still homophobia and transphobia

But that doesn’t mean that everything is already done. There is still homophobia and transphobia, fueled by fundamentalist religious forces. “We therefore absolutely need an amendment to Article 3 of the Basic Law in order to enshrine the protection of sexual identity as a fundamental right,” adds Karl Kreile (64). In 2017, Mende called the marriage for all “a milestone from a legal point of view”. There are no more first and second class marriages. “We now walk the streets hand in hand more confidently.”

The Bundestag and Bundesrat had decided on marriage for everyone five years ago, shortly before the 2017 summer break, i.e. legal equality for homosexual and heterosexual partnerships, including unrestricted adoption rights. Same-sex couples have been able to marry since October 1, 2017. Since then, more than 65,000 same-sex marriages have taken place in Germany, according to the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden in July. dpa

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