This year, Luxembourg became the 17th nation to enact marriage equality. But on Friday, May 15, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel put that law into action by marrying his longtime partner, Gauthier Destenay, a Belgian architect, in the the small European country's capital. He is the second world leader to marry a same-sex partner while in office -- the first being Johanna Sigurdardotti, Iceland's former prime minister, five years ago -- but he is the first European Union Leader to do so.
"I have just one life, and I don't want to hide my life," Bettel told the Los Angeles Times last year. "But I was not the 'gay candidate.' ... People didn't vote for me because I'm gay or I'm straight."
Mayor Lydie Polfe told Luxembourg-based broadcaster RTL: "I wouldn't have thought that 33 years later I would officiate his wedding and that to as lovely a man as Gauthier" The couple have been been in a "civil partnership" for several years but Destenay proposed to Bettel last year.
Stephane Bern, a French journalist and a personal friend of Bettel's who attended the wedding, commented that there was not a "dry eye in the house." He also noted in an interview with the Luxemberger Wort that, although the small country is often considered more stern and conservative, it had surprised the president of France with its decision to allow same-sex marriage explaining that: "Francois Hollande recently told me that the Grand Duchy, despite being a small country that is perceived as being a bit stern, has turned out to be at the forefront of social issues like same-sex marriage."