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The Netherlands celebrates 20 years of gay marriage

This was the world’s first legal same-sex weddingDate: April 1, 2001Dutch couple Gert Kasteel and Dolf Pasker made historywhen they married on April 1st, 2001Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands(SOUNDBITE) (English) ONE OF WORLD’S FIRST LEGALLY-RECOGNISED MARRIED GAY COUPLES, GERT KASTEEL AND DOLF PASKER, SAYING:KASTEEL: “All the square was filled with…”PASKER: “Cameras and journalists.”JOURNALIST: “How did you feel?”KASTEEL: “Happy, very happy.”PASKER: “A bit nervous.”KASTEEL: “No!”PASKER: “A little bit.”KASTEEL: “Maybe.”Location: Weesp, NetherlandsThe Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001It’s now legal in nearly 30 nations(SOUNDBITE) (English) ONE HALF OF ONE OF WORLD’S FIRST LEGALLY-RECOGNISED MARRIED GAY COUPLES, DOLF PASKER, SAYING:”It’s nicer to say to other people: “He’s my husband, he’s my man.” And it’s natural to say so, otherwise I have to say, “He’s my partner’ or “He’s my friend.” And it has also helped me to accept myself.”Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER EDITOR OF DUTCH GAY MAGAZINE ‘GAY KRANT’, NOW LAWMAKER, HENK KROL, SAYING:”Well it helped a lot because I was working in parliament, so I knew all the key figures. // And then, at that moment, everybody in the Netherlands said to me ‘The Netherlands will be the first and the last country, the rest of the world won’t follow you’. And you see what is happening right now, almost 30 countries in the whole world followed the Dutch example. And I could tell about it in Taiwan, in Canada, in South Africa, in America, in Spain and it’s so good to see that almost every civilized country followed the Dutch way.”

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