Interesting development in Germany today as the Bundestag approved by 393-226.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel was opposed to the bill herself but still allowed a free vote for her Christian Democratic Union representatives in the Bundestag.
Explaining her opposition to the bill she said;
“For me, marriage in German law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favour of this bill today,”
“I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace.”
The report continues;
The Chancellor said she supported the bill’s introduction of full adoption rights for same-sex couples – a move she had previously opposed – and was fighting anti-LGBT discrimination.
Ms Merkel had freed her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) from the party whip on the issue, calling for a “vote of conscience”.
The centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is governing in a coalition with the CDU/CSU, read the statement as permission to launch the snap vote.
It was called by under an amendment entitled “marriage for all”, which was already guaranteed a majority in the Bundestag with the combined support of the SPD, the Left party and Greens.
Johannes Kahrs, an SPD politician known for his LGBT campaigning, launched a blistering attack on Ms Merkel over “embarrassing” delays to the legislation.
He finished his impassioned speech with: “Frau Merkel, thanks for nothing.”
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs