Hans Jonsson and Sven-Olov Jansson exchanged wedding vows Monday, becoming the first Swedish couple to marry under a new law allowing homosexual marriages.
“We have lived together for five years, but we feel it is important to be recognized by the society the same way heterosexual couples are,” Jansson said.
Sweden became the third Nordic country - after Denmark and Norway - to allow homosexuals to register partnerships with all the rights and obligations of marriage except adopting children or having a church wedding.
Jonsson, 42, and Jansson, 58, participated in a brief civil ceremony at the Ostersund town hall, 370 miles northwest of Stockholm.
Jorn Svensson, a former parliament member from Sweden’s left party, presided over the ceremony. He wished the men “happiness in your partnership and your home.”
“This is a victory for justice and equality,” Svensson said. Just 51 years ago, homosexuality was a crime in Sweden.
In other parts of Sweden, at least two more couples, one male and one female, were married Monday, the first working day after the law went into force.
On Oct. 1, 1989, Denmark became the first country in the world to allow homosexual marriages.