Fantastic news out of Germany: Same-sex marriage has been legalized! The historic decision came just five days after Chancellor Angela Merkel relaxed her party’s opposition of same-sex marriage, allowing members of her conservative coalition to individually vote on the issue based on their consciences. And as it turns out, the majority of lawmakers in Germany have progressive consciences.
Civil partnerships have been legal in Germany since 2001, but Friday marks the first time same-sex couples can legally get married. And not only do couples finally have full marital rights, they also have the right to adopt children.
Before the vote occurred, both parties debated their points as to why same-sex marriage should and shouldn’t be legalized. Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats, opened the floor debate with these beautiful words:
Merkel argued that the Constitution should protect conventional marriage, but voiced her desire for the entire country to embrace the outcome of the vote.
“I hope that with today’s vote, not only that mutual respect is there between the individual positions, but also that an amount of social peace and togetherness can be created,” Merkel said.
Merkel ended up voting against the measure on Friday, but many of her party colleagues voted in favor, and the outcome wasn’t even close — 393 votes in favor and 226 against, with four abstentions.
We’re sending a huge congratulations and lots of love to Germany!