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Gay wedding for Luxembourg PM a first for serving EU leader

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By Seamus Kearney
Gay wedding for Luxembourg PM a first for serving EU leader

It is a marriage that will go down in the history books.

The prime minister of Luxembourg has become the first serving leader in the European Union to marry someone of the same sex.

Xavier Bettel tied the knot with his Belgian partner, architect Gauthier Destenay.

A law allowing gay marriage came into force in Luxembourg in January.

“I wish everyone to be as happy as I am,” said the prime minister. “Thank you to the people of Luxembourg, thank you, and to everybody, I make no distinctions, thank you everyone.”

The Belgian Prime Minister and his wife were among those invited.

Charles Michel said: “The message is one of good spirits, of joy and of congratulations, and, most importantly, of happiness. This is the message I bring today.”

Other guests say it is a great image to send around the world.

TV presenter Stephane Bern said: “Because he’s the prime minister, it’s a message to send to others, especially when homophobia is on the rise in some European countries.”

The prime minister of Iceland became the first serving leader in the world to marry a same-sex partner back in 2010.

Luxembourg residents passed on their congratulations.

One woman said: “It could be a change for the future, because it might encourage others to be courageous to get married too.”

Another woman said: “It might bother some people but that will always be the case. People won’t budge from their opinions. But it’s all about happiness, which you can’t be against. It’s about being free in this country.”

Luxembourg is one of nearly a dozen EU states that now allow gay marriage; Ireland holds a referendum on the issue next week.