Germany may allow same-sex marriage within a week

I had assumed that Germany was one of those enlightened countries where same-sex marriages had long been legal and lesbians and gays could adopt children. I was wrong. Chancellor Angela Merkel has been opposed to both those issues being brought up for a vote in the Bundestag, the German parliament. But she now she seems to have had a change of heart. Or at least is bowing to political necessity.

She has said that she will allow a vote and allow the members of her party the Christian Democrats to vote their consciences. The other two major parties, the Social Democrats and the Greens, are strongly in favor of these measures and so it should pass even if only a minority of the members of her party vote in favor.

It appears that the German public is overwhelmingly in favor of both those measures and there is an election coming up. Merkel, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, seems to have decided that it was politically advantageous to make this switch. They are followers, not courageous leaders, on this important social issue.

Whatever. As long as people are treated equally, that is the main thing.


  1. cero says

    Germany had a so-called “registered partnership” since 2001, which was in almost every point identical to “classical” marriage. The only difference I know is, that it is harder for a couple in a registered partnership to adopt a child, than it is for a married couple.

    So legally it is a very small step, but it is of course of great symbolic importance. (The leading party was opposing this for a long time largely because they didn’t want to scare their religious base away, especially the Bavarian part of the party is still highly conservative)

  2. jrkrideau says

    At least Germany seems to have had a civil union type partnership for years. Not great but beats Russia and, possibly, US states apparently.

    It is rather surprising though. I would have thought Germany would have had same-sex marriage a long time ago. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about German parties to know if it was a calculated decision or if the early stand was a calculated decision.

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