Dutch couples celebrate 20th anniversary of world's first same-sex marriages

Shortly after midnight on April 1, 2001, Gert Kasteel and Dolf Pasker were among the first legally-recognized same-sex couple to wed in the Netherlands. Along with 2 other male couples and one female couple, they were married by the mayor of Amsterdam.

"It's nicer to say to other people 'he's my husband, he's my man,'" said Dolf, sitting next to Gert as they flipped through an album of photos and newspaper clippings of the wedding, which made headlines worldwide. "It has helped me to accept myself."

via NBC News

All four couples have withstood the test of time, save one, Frank Witterbrood, who passed away from a heart attack at the age of 55 in 2011.

"People told me that the Netherlands would be the first and the last country (to pass same-sex marriages), the rest of the world won't follow you," said Henk Krol, a lawmaker who supported the bill when it passed the Dutch parliament in 2000.

"Almost 30 countries in the world followed the Dutch example," he said.

Other countries, including most of the EU, Britian, Australia, South Africa, the United States, and Mexico, are among the 29 nations that have legalized same-sex marriage since those first in 2001.

"I'm very proud that it's possible," said Gert, who before he could complete his sentence had Dolf jump in and finish it: "that we could play a little part of it. We made history."