Feb 26, 2024

After an emotional and short debate, same-sex marriage has finally been legalized in Germany. On 30th June 2017 lawmakers in Germany put in their votes to legalize same-sex marriages, bring their nation in line with many of their peers in the Western parts of the world. The snap vote resulted into 226 votes against same-sex marriage, 393 votes for legalizing same-sex marriage and 4 abstentions.

Angela Markel, Chancellor voted against the measure however she freed other party members so that they could vote their ‘conscience and paved way for legalizing same-sex marriages. She stated that the issue could be taken up as a ‘question of conscience’ and allowed the Conservation coalition members to put in votes, individually. The Conservative coalition was not in favor of same-sex marriage so far.

Centre-left rival called for a snap vote on the issue, by adding it to the agenda very quickly at Parliament, last Friday. Fellow party members were urged by Jan-Marco Luczak, the Berlin Christian Democrat to vote in favor of same-sex marriage. He told lawmakers that to prevent same-sex people to marry, would be truly absurd.

The Chancellor, Angela Market had been a gay marriage opponent for a very long time, however she opened the way for the vote, noted Johannes Kahrs, Social Democrat lawmaker. He bluntly said, ‘Many thanks for nothing’.

Since 2001, same-sex couples had entered into civil partnerships in Germany, but full marital rights were not granted to them, including the possibility of adopting children jointly.

It would take many months for the measure to take effect, due to legal hurdles, as President has to give approval and the Upper House of Parliament needs to pass it still. Ms. Merkel stated after the vote that she does think that gay couples should be able to adopt children, after she read laws in Germany related to marriage. The basic law in Germany is vague and states that state protection shall be enjoyed by family and marriage. According to Merkel, the law defines marriage as marriage of woman and man. However she has stood by her contention that the final interpretation is a ‘question of conscience’ and urged that everyone’s views must be respected. She is also hopeful that in society this would bring more cohesion and peace.