How are Berlin’s pioneering couple doing today?


They have been married for almost exactly five years, have been together for decades and are still happy: they were one of the first homosexual couples in Germany. Bodo Mendė and Karlas Kreile said “yes” on October 1, 2017 in Berlin.

Two ex-civil servants are currently enjoying their retired life and holidaying in Sicily. “We will spend the wedding day in Palermo. We will have a really good meal and enjoy the day,” says Bodo Mende from the German Press Agency.

Before the wedding, the two had been a couple for 38 years, and since 2002 they had registered a civil partnership. “Not much has changed in practical life because of marriage,” says Mendė (65).

“However, the fact that we are accepted as a married couple is more important now than before,” says the Berliner. So no one is surprised when one of the two talks about “her husband”, for example, when booking a hotel. “No one cares anymore.”

But that doesn’t mean everything is done. There is still homophobia and transphobia fueled by fundamentalist religious forces. “Therefore, we absolutely need an amendment to Article 3 of the Basic Law so that the protection of sexual identity is established as a basic right,” adds Karlas Kreile (64).

Now we walk the streets holding hands more bravely.

Bodo Mende

In 2017, Mende called marriage a “legally important event” for everyone. No more first and second class marriages. – Now we walk the streets holding hands with more self-confidence.

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The Bundestag and Bundesrat decided five years ago, just before the 2017 summer recess, on marriage for all, meaning legal equality between homosexual and heterosexual partnerships, including unlimited adoption rights.

Same-sex couples can marry from October 1, 2017. More than 65,000 same-sex marriages took place in Germany in July, according to Wiesbaden’s Federal Statistical Office. (dpa)

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