May Day nuptials for same-sex couples

May Day nuptials for same-sex couples
Alf Karlsson and Johan Lundqvist tied the knot at the Stockholm City Hall on May 1, the first day same-sex couples were permitted marry according to Sweden's new gender-neutral marriage law.

“It went really well! This is fantastic, fantastic weather!” Karlsson exclaimed immediately following the ceremony.

Although homosexual couples in Sweden have been allowed to enter into legal partnerships since 1995, Friday marked the first day gay and lesbian couples were granted the same legal status as their heterosexual counterparts. The new gender-neutral marriage law allows homosexual couples to enter into marriage “for real.”

For Karlsson, Lundqvist and many others, it means much more than that.

“It means that our love is worth the same as everybody else’s. And it doesn’t matter if it is a man and a man, or a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman, but all love is equally valuable,” Karlsson told TT.

When asked if it was important to be married on the first day the law went into effect, Karlsson answered in the affirmative. “We are both politicians and thought that this was our opportunity to make a statement,” he said.

Karlsson and Lundqvist are both members of the Green party, so party leader Maria Wetterstrand officiated at the ceremony and fellow party member Ywonne Ruwaida was one of the witnesses.

“I was there when we signed the joint Social Democratic-Left-Green motion for a gender-neutral marriage law in the parliament and so it was only natural to ask Maria to officiate.”

TT: What now?

“Now we are going to celebrate with our nearest and dearest!” Karlsson said.

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