Anne-Marie and Helene never imagined they would be the first-ever lesbian couple to get married. And never in their wildest dreams would they see the entire world watching over their shoulder.
“Satellite uplink trunks and vans, photographers everywhere,” the couple recalls. “It was crazy.”
The Dutch pair walked down the aisle into the history books on April 1, 2001, as the world’s first legally wed lesbian couple, after the Netherlands became the first country to offer gay marriage.
Exactly ten years later, the happy couple are still glowing with smiles from ear to ear. But their first years of marriage were a little different from any other couple: television crews from all continents flew over to catch a glimpse of “a solid and average family.”
“We’ve had people from Chilean television search our house for paintings of naked women; they we’re convinced we had hidden them somewhere around,” Anne-Marie remembers. “Or that Italian journalist,” her spouse adds, “[who] was more anxious to meet us than to interview Yasser Arafat!”
The couple say they are hardly ever confronted with negative reactions. “My 88-year-old grandma even followed the entire ceremony on live television,” Anne-Marie says proudly. “Frankly, we’ve always been out and proud.”