BREAKING: Germany legalizes marriage equality
Same-sex couples get full marital and adoption rights - but Angela Merkel votes against the change.
On the last day of Pride Month, politicians in Germany voted to legalize same-sex marriage, despite Chancellor Angela Merkel’s opposition.
Merkel had been vocal about opposing marriage equality for “children’s welfare,” but said that despite her personal beliefs, she would allow the measure to be brought to a vote. Equality won 393-226, with four abstentions.
The German legal code will now read: “Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex,” AFP news agency reported.
Following Friday’s vote, Mrs Merkel said that for her marriage was between a man and a woman. But she said she hoped the passing of the bill would lead to more “social cohesion and peace.”
And this from the New York Times:
“If the Constitution guarantees one thing, it is that anyone in this country can live as they wish,” Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats, said in opening the floor debate. “If gay marriage is decided, then many will receive something, but nobody will have something taken away.” […]
Christine Lüders, the director of the German government’s anti-discrimination agency, said that the law was “not about special rights for anyone, but about equal rights.”
Ms. Lüders said the law would play a significant role in combating discrimination, by helping make same-sex relationships a social norm in Germany, as they have become in many countries across Europe. Last week, the German Parliament voted to void the convictions of 50,000 men punished under an anti-gay law repealed in 1994.
“I am certain that just a few years from now, as a society, we will look back on this decision on marriage equality and ask ourselves, ‘Why on earth did it take us so long?’” Ms. Lüders said.
A Pride to remember for years to come. Congratulations, Germany!