German Parliament Votes To Legalise Gay Marriage

Ehe für alle! The German parliament has passed a bill legalising gay marriage in a surprise vote far earlier than expected.

VolkerBeck,DieGruenen

“I would advise all registry offices in the country to boost staff numbers…”

The bill passed by 393 to 226, with four abstentions. Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the bill, although her comments helped bring it about, reports Deutsche Welle.

The vote on the bill – which grants gay and lesbian couples full rights, including adoption – took place mere hours before the Bundestag broke for their summer recess. The law is likely to come into effect before the end of the year.

Merkel later explained her decision to vote no, saying that she understood the definition of marriage in the German constitution as referring solely to unions between men and women but added that that she hoped the vote to approve gay marriage would lead to “more social peace.”

angela merkel and a redhaired drag queen

Germany’s path to marriage equality has been slow going – until this week, that is. On Monday, speaking at a magazine event, Merkel disclosed that her opposition to gay marriage had softened following a meeting with a lesbian constituent.

On Tuesday, the Social Democrats (SPD)’s chancellor candidate, Martin Schulz, took Merkel at her word and broke coalition ranks to call for an immediate vote, a move that Merkel’s CDU party condemned as a “breach of trust” after four years of joint rule, reports The Guardian.

The bill to legalise gay marriage was hurriedly added to the parliamentary agenda on Wednesday by the SPD, Merkel’s junior coalition partners, who last weekend announced that an agreement on same-sex marriage would be a central condition to any future coalition.

“I would advise all registry offices in the country to boost staff numbers,” said Renate Künast of the pro-marriage equality Green party after the passing of the bill.

Germany has had civil partnerships since 2001, but now becomes the 14th country in Europe to have full marriage equality.

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News Ireland). All rights reserved.

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