Heil Homos! The first queer marriages have finally taken place in Germany, just three months after the country legalized same-sex marriage. While the country has allowed same-sex couples to engage in registered partnerships since 2001, this is a giant step forward for queer rights in Deutschland.
Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, who have been together for 38 years, were the first to exchange vows. It is unclear how they were able to land the coveted gig of “first same-sex couple to marry in Germany,” but it is probable that they ended their marriage ceremony with curt, satisfied nods and drove off into the unremarkable sunset to share a life of mutual nihilism and self-reliance. Kreile’s slight, three-second-long smile to Mende as they took the quickest route home was the grandest display of emotion that he had ever displayed in his adult life. The degree of joy he felt was matched only by when he received his first lederhosen as a child.
Casual fans of German politics may recall that the decision to legalize same-sex marriage had been part of a political maneuver by Angela Merkel. For a long time, her center-right Christian Democrats party (CDU) had opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, but Merkel flip-flopped on her stance in June when the leftist party SPD began using her opposition as a tool to gain political steam. Thus, Merkel’s decision not only heralded a paradigm shift in German attitudes towards queerness, but it helped Merkel retain a wider voting base and get re-elected. We got your number, Madchen! (That means “girl,” according to Google Translate.)
Just for fun, here’s Kate McKinnon’s most recent outing as Merkel on this past weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live: