Bringing marriage equality in the world, the German Parliament approved a proposal allowing same-sex marriage after a debate. A clear majority of German MPs have voted to legalise same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote.
However, at present, same-sex couples are limited to civil unions.
Norbert Lammert, president of the parliament, said 393 lawmakers voted to approve the amendment, while 226 voted against and four abstained. The German legal code will now read: “Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex”, AFP reported.
The country’s normally staid politics were jolted in the direction of approving gay marriage last weekend when two major political parties said they would make the legislation a condition of any future coalition agreement with the Christian Democrats, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in the general election in September. Notably, same-sex couples in Germany have been able to live together in civil unions since 2001 and a recent survey by the government’s anti-discrimination agency found that 83% of Germans are in favour of marriage equality. However, conservatives have consistently blocked the issue from coming to a vote in Parliament.
Notably, civil marriages are legally recognised in Norway, Sweden, Denmark (excluding the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, France, the UK (except Northern Ireland and Jersey), and the Republic of Ireland. While in Austria and Italy gay couples are restricted to civil partnerships.