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S P E C I A L _ R E P O R T

Couples: Profiles of Commitment

Lars said ‘I do’ for love - and to enable
his foreign-born partner to legally
reside in Denmark

Stories and photos
By Linda Hosek
Star-Bulletin

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Lars Warming sat nervously in Copenhagen's dimly lit "wedding hall" as he waited for a government official to call his name, ending his days as a single gay man.

His mother, Edith, had come from Denmark's oldest Viking village of 500 residents to watch him wed the handsome Aziz, a Moroccan.

"I see it as a marriage," she said as the two men in white shirts prepared to register as partners.

Edith Warming, second from left, watches as friends shower her
son, Lars, and his legal partner, Aziz, with rice as they leave
Copenhagen's Town Hall with their registration certificate.



When Warming's name resounded in the busy hall with others in line to wed, he and Aziz moved into a small room. About 30 friends followed and encircled them.

A black-robbed official performed a two-minute ceremony identical to the one for marriage. Under a harsh light, they kissed, exchanged rings and signed papers.

Their friends hurried out and threw rice as the two left the historic Town Hall.

Lars and Aziz Warming held hands as the party walked along Copenhagen's famous shopping street under a gray fall sky, turning to enter Cafe Sebastian.

With beers in raised hands, they toasted the couple with "skol!" Edith Warming made a special toast for Aziz, welcoming him to the family.

Warming, 30, was immediately attracted to Aziz, 27, when he saw him almost two years ago at the same cafe.

He introduced himself, but Aziz spoke no Danish. Warming got a translator and the two spent the next few days together. When Aziz returned home, Warming thought it was over.

Last September Aziz phoned Warming, saying he had learned Danish and wanted to see him. He returned to Copenhagen and they decided to stay together.

Lars and Aziz enjoy their reception at the cafe where they met.



Initially, Warming thought they would have to find a woman for Aziz to wed so he could legally reside in Denmark. Then he realized they could marry under Denmark's 1989 registered partnership law.

Aziz protested, saying one should marry for love. Warming convinced him he was in love.

Edith Warming said she had suspected her son was gay, but resisted it for about six months after he told her.

"He is my child," she said, watching the two unwrap presents, including teapots, candle holders, a fondue pot, flowers and a vase.

"I wanted him 'normal.' But now I accept him 100 percent."

Tomorrow

Fighting for the children: Partners seek equal treatment in the areas of adoption and artificial insemination.
Blessing of the church: Partners want the right to a church ceremony and blessing.



Friday

Groundwork: The Netherlands prepares for partnerships and debates opening marriages.
At home: Hawaii's ongoing legislative and judicial struggle.
On the mainland: The status of same-sex benefits nationwide.



Archive of previous same-sex stories




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