Thursday, March 31, 2011

World's first married lesbian couple

From the AFP:
Dutch pair Helene Faasen and Anne-Marie Thus walked down the aisle into the history books 10 years ago as the world's first legally wed lesbian couple, a distinction they now employ in activism.

"We married for love, not politics. But of course we were aware it was an historic moment," 41-year-old Thus, a notary assistant and gay rights campaigner, told AFP ahead of the anniversary Friday of the world's first gay wedding.

By tying the knot in front of the world's press, "we wanted to make other people think about how horrible it is to be denied something that is a natural right for others," added her wife, 44-year-old notary Helene Faasen....

The Netherlands was the first country to legalise same-sex marriage, in 2001....
Since then, nearly 15,000 gay and lesbian couples have wed in the Netherlands -- about two percent of the total number of marriages registered between 2001 and 2010, based on figures from the Central Statistics Bureau.

"Like many other people, we have a family, work, a house, a dog and two rabbits," said Thus, who met "the love of my life" on a blind date in 1998....

The couple is fiercely protective of their privacy, insisting on being interviewed at Faasen's Amsterdam office rather than at home, but say they lift the veil for special occasions in the name of advocacy.

"We like to show how very dull and normal we are," said Faasen, winking at her partner.

"It is not the Sodom and Gomorrah many people apparently expect to result from the legalisation of gay marriage".

Ten years after the couple's milestone wedding, gay marriage is still illegal in many countries. Gay sex is banned and punishable in some states, and carries the death penalty in Iran.

"We were lucky that others had taken up the fight and made it possible for us to get married," said Thus.

"If other people need us now, especially in countries where it is not yet legal, we want to be there for them."

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