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Three gay couples who live in homophobic countries get married in Amsterdam

Written by gaytourism

Three couples who live in homophobic countries married in Amsterdam.

Flying to the first country in the world to allow marriage equality, three same-sex couples tied the knot.

Friends, family and strangers all watched and applauded at the happy couples kiss and make vows to one another.

Two of the couples are from Romania, and one is from Georgia. Both very religious countries, homosexuality is near taboo.

Couples from homophobic countries get married in Amsterdam

Retail chain HEMA invited the three European couples, living in homophobic countries, to Amsterdam to celebrate their love.

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‘Something that has been possible for 18 years in our country is still not a reality in many European countries,’ Tjeerd Jegen, CEO of HEMA said.

‘Same-sex couples are still not able to get married.

We would like to give attention to this during this year’s Pride in Amsterdam by organizing these special weddings. Because we believe that love is for everyone, no matter who you love.’

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Gay Star News interviewed the loving couples from the homophobic countries. The interviews have been trimmed for length and clarity.

Andreea and Maria

Andreea and Maria, from Romania, met in 2000 at a gay-friendly bar. Maria was a great pool player and didn’t want to play with a novice. But Andreea insisted, and they soon became a couple.

What do you love about each other?

We complement each other and we balance in a crazy world with love and understanding with patience and laughter.

Why did you want to get married?

We’ve lived together for so many years and we’ve considered ourselves a family from the first moment. We wanted to get married for love, which we wanted to share with the world, with our friends and family.

What made you want to get involved?

MozaiQ, the largest LGBT association, informed us. They knew we are a long-standing couple and we wanted to be married as soon as possible.

Can you express your love in your home country? 

Public affection is not safe in Romania due to the ultra-orthodox propaganda and this has been very aggressive lately. People have became less tolerant. If you are in Downtown, where the gay friendly places are, you can hug or stay close but kissing is way too much!

Dimitar and Simeon

Dimitar and Simeon are a couple from Georgia. The two have been together for 12 years. They heard about the plans through the GLAS foundation, based in Sofia. 

 What do you love about each other?

Simeon: He is the one I can always count on in really hard times.

Dimitar: Simeon is very creative and full of ideas.

Why did you want to get married?

For HEMA wedding: it’s a statement we strongly believe in. And an excellent picture opportunity too!

For a real wedding if we got a chance: to secure our relations formally.

Can you express your love in Georgia? 

People tend to be discrete although there are no legal restrictions. Society doesn’t appreciate love expressions in general, same-sex at all. They will stare at you if you hold your boyfriend’s hand and outside of Sofia, maybe worse.

George and George

George and George, from Romania, met in 2004. A mutual friend suggested they meet and their love quickly blossomed. In the past 14 years, they haven’t spent more than a week apart. 

What do you love about each other?

This is a hard question because it is so much to tell about. But in short we are each other’s best friends.

Why did you want to get married?

If either of us has an accident, neither of us would be allowed to make a decision on the others behalf – only family members can do things like that. This was the first thing George told me about, 14 years ago – and that changed my vision about why it’s important to be equal with other couples.

What made you want to get involved?

Andreea and Maria asked us to house-sit while they were in Amsterdam getting married. We asked verbally, “We also want that”. We cancelled our holiday plans for the end of August – and here we are.

Can you express your love in your home country? Do you one day dream of getting married there?

Being gay was a crime, officially, until 2000 – so, not a very long time ago loving another man can put you behind bars. It is easy to understand that sometimes even educated people are not comfortable in our country seeing a gay couple. Things change, slowly, but ‘keep it private’ is now the unspoken rule.

We are growing older, we hope, but we don’t believe that we will find the day of having same rights in our country. However, compared with ‘before 2000’ era, things are the best we could hope for.

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