Although they couldn’t throw a big party due to the pandemic, Gert Kasteel and Dolf Pasker marked their 20th wedding anniversary on April 1st 2021 by flipping through photo albums at their home in Holland.
Gert and Dolf were among the four same-sex couples -- three gay couples and one lesbian couple -- who made history in 2001, when the Mayor of Amsterdam married them under the new Dutch law allowing marriage equality; the first in the modern world.
“I’m very proud that it’s possible,” Gert told Reuters, before Dolf jumped in to finish his sentence; “that we could play a little part of it. We made history.”
All four marriages have stood the test of time, although one of the men, Frank Wittebrood, died of a heart attack in 2011 at age 55, Reuters reports.
On Thursday, the city of Amsterdam marked the 20th anniversary of the country’s marriage equality law by floating a huge inflatable pink cake with candles spouting rainbow flames through the city’s canals.
There was also a large rainbow flag strung from the bell tower of the landmark Western Church, next to the Anne Frank House museum, according to the LA Times.
Henk Krol, a lawmaker who supported the law when it passed the Dutch parliament in 2000, said people told him they would be the first and the last country to legalize same-sex marriage.
“[They] told me... the rest of the world won’t follow you,” Krol said. “Almost 30 countries in the world followed the Dutch example.”