A spokesperson for Angela Merkel has said that marriage equality is “not a goal” for the current German government.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has found herself subjected to questions pertaining to the possibility of equal marriage in Germany in light of Ireland’s referendum victory.
On Sunday, the Green Party urged Angela Merkel to extend marriage to gay and lesbian citizens, with the party’s leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt saying: “It’s time, Frau Merkel.”
Germany has had civil partnerships for same-sex couples since 2001 – becoming one of the first European countries to allow civil partnerships – but now remains one of the only Western European countries to ban marriage for gay couples.
On Wednesday, the coalition of Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), along with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) agreed to make “small changes” to the civil partnership rules but refused to consider the possibility of marriage.
Merkel’s CDU party are opposed to marriage mainly due to fears of a backlash from the conservative electorate.
“Today was an important milestone in dismantling discrimination and the chancellor is pleased about that,” Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert told Reuters. “But same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government.”
Justice Minister Heiko Maas, of the SPD, was disappointed that Germany could not take a bigger leap, blaming resistance on the right in Merkel’s party. “Unfortunately that wasn’t possible with the conservatives.”
In spite of the CDU’s lack of interest in equal marriage, polls show that 75 percent of Germans are in favour of legalising gay marriage, as are the SPD and all opposition parties.
“In Germany we’ll take a path that suits Germany,” Seibert said.
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