Lesbians become first same-sex couple to marry in Belgium
Two lesbians became the first same-sex couple to marry in Belgium on Friday under laws passed earlier this year. Marion Huibrechts and Christel Verwyvelen celebrated 16 years of partnership with official vows at a civil ceremony in the northern town of Kappelen. "Marriage is the most profound promise of faith and love," Huibrechts, 43, told the daily De Morgen newspaper on the eve of her wedding with 37-year-old Verwyvelen. Belgium is the second nation in the world to officially recognize marriages between people of the same sex, following its northern neighbor, the Netherlands. Several other European nations, including Denmark, Hungary, France, and Portugal, have laws recognizing same-sex unions and granting legal, tax, and property rights.