Gay Marriage Has Been Legalised in Germany

People celebrate in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag after the delegates voted on legalising same-sex marriage, in Berlin, Germany June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German politicians have voted to legalise same-sex marriage.

The matter of gay marriage was fast-tracked after Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that politicians could take up the issue as a ‘question of conscience’.

The move meant that members of her conservative coalition, which has been against same-sex marriage, were free to individually vote for the measure.

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but same-sex marriages remained illegal.

Merkel herself voted against legalising gay marriage, telling reporters: ‘For me, marriage in the Basic Law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favour of this bill today.’

Gay marriage has been legalised in Germany
Lawmakers voted for legalising ‘marriage for everybody’ (Picture: Reuters)
Gay marriage has been legalised in Germany
Two men hold their hands at the Christopher Street Day (CSD) parade in Berlin, Germany on July 23, 2016 (Picture: Getty)

‘I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace,’ she added.

All of Merkel’s potential coalition partners after the September 4 election, including the centre-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same-sex marriage to be legalised.

Lawmakers voted 393 for legalising ‘marriage for everybody’ and 226 against with 4 abstentions.The measure, which is expected to see legal challenges, also opens the door for gay couples to adopt – which Mrs Merkel says she supports.


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