The prime minister of the tiny European state of Luxembourg has married his partner, a year after the small Roman Catholic nation approved a law which allows same-sex marriage.
Xavier Bettel married five years after Iceland’s prime minister got married to her partner in what was the first same-sex marriage of a government leader in Europe.
“I wish for everybody to be as happy as I am, thank you to the Luxembourg people and to everyone, I do not make any distinctions, thank you,” Bettel said to a crowd of friends who gathered near the capital’s city hall on Friday.
Bettel at first mentioned he wanted to have an extremely private wedding, but by Friday morning, he had already shared a picture of himself together with Belgian partner Gauthier Destenay on his Twitter page. The ceremony at Luxembourg City Hall was held in the late afternoon.
Bettel, a 42-year-old lawyer, is the head of the free-market DP liberals, who formed a coalition government along with the Socialists and the Greens to put an end to 34 years of Christian Democrat rule in Luxembourg.
On July 1, this nation of 520,000 will assume the presidency of the European Union, offering Bettel major international exposure.
Squeezed between Germany, Belgium and France, Luxembourg has been at the middle of European affairs since the founding of the European Union in 1957. It was long seen as a picture of calm bourgeois conservatism, yet it has turned into a major financial center, well beyond its size.
“It is rather a good thing, a little country, Luxembourg, that we look at often as a conservative country but it is reforming itself in a smart way,” explained French television presenter Stephane Bern, a close friend of Bettel.
The prime minister has also pushed forward the political scene with reforms. Last year, government officials overwhelmingly approved measures to allow people of the same sex to get married and to adopt children as part of the most important revision of Luxembourg’s laws on marriage from the last three hundred years.
”It makes the motto of the country, “We want to remain what we are is a little outdated. I am against hypocrisy so I find it is a good thing that they do it. Live and let live so I have no opinion, against or for it,” said Monique Stoffel, a witness at the event.
Image Source: Indiana Express