In a move that will go down in history as a victory for LGBTQ people and defenders of LGBTQ rights, the German parliament has voted to legalize gay marriage on June 30th, 2017.
Showing a major shift in her stance on the matter, Angela Merkel called for a free vote on the so-called “Ehe für Alle” law. Since 2001, homosexual civil unions (which do not grant certain rights, such as the right to adopt children) have been recognized by German law. The move on part of Chancellor Merkel comes just a few months before the federal elections.
Merkel herself voted against the law, which some speculate was her way of appeasing the conservatives in the CDU/CSU. These conservatives oppose the law and some even consider it unconstitutional. German society is considered to be very LGBTQ-friendly and yet it has taken quite some time for the government and legislature to catch up with the socially progressive stance of the country’s population. Nonetheless, a majority of MPs voted for the law and “Ehe für Alle” has passed, sparking joy at the newly granted right as well frustration at Merkel’s vote in the LGBTQ community.