Germany votes in favor of same-sex marriage

While German chancellor Angela Merkel voted against it, the German Bundestag voted today by a wide margin of 393 to 226 to legalize same-sex marriage. Her decision to allow a vote was seen by some as an act of political expediency, designed to remove a potent issue that could be used against her in upcoming elections.

Some within the ranks of Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party were furious about having been bulldozed into a vote at short notice, although she will feel that she can hold her head high with disaffected colleagues because of her no vote.

Merkel faced a barrage of criticism from within the chamber, with the sharpest rebuke coming from the SPD’s Johannes Kahrs, who accused her of having stood in the way of the law for years. “In all honesty, Frau Merkel, thanks for nothing,” he said.

This map gives the current state of play across Europe.

This seems to be one of those irreversible global trends. I wonder which country will be the last holdout?


  1. Mano Singham says

    I dunno. Turkey has had quite a secular past and it would not take much to reverse the current reactionary trend there.

    I think the last holdout is likely to be an Islamic country and my vote would be for Saudi Arabia. It has a rigid ideology and is rich and powerful enough to resist outside pressure. Of course, if there is a political revolution that overthrows that ghastly monarchy and installs a more democratic system (I like to dream), then all bets are off.

  2. lanir says

    Shooting from the hip here, but this feels like an issue that wins whenever education and communication become very common and religious majority opposition cannot keep up with them. Education helps because it gives you tools to recognize when people make silly, unsupportable statements. Communication helps because it can limit the narrative that can be told about these “other” groups.

    Religious opposition seems to mostly come in one of two forms: it’s bad because it’s (historically) bad, and bad because BigListOfScaryReasons. The former is not strong enough and falls apart easily. The latter runs afoul of increased education and communication as people realize “othered” groups are more like them than the stories they hear from their religion and as the claims get more extreme, they fail to seem believable as they butt up against education.

    If I’m not way off base here, it probably says unkind things about the state of education and backwards religion in the US that it took our massive communications infrastructure (tv, radio, internet) to overcome this prejudice.

  3. Mano Singham says


    I considered the possibility of the Vatican too but if a lot of Catholic-majority countries accept same-sex marriage (like the Republic of Ireland did), they may find it hard to oppose it. They will look for, and find, some theological justification for it.

  4. says

    Thanks to her interactions with Donald the left seems to developing a fondness for Merkel lately, forgetting not only her issues with marriage equality but that she’s one of the world’s leading and most powerful advocates for austerity.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Croatia has full marriage equality?!?

    Has the Catholic/neoUstache faction lost control completely there?

  6. secondtofirstworld says

    @Pierce R. Butler #8: I don’t know with which country you’re confusing Croatia with, they have a civil union.

    To Mano: Every country that is a NATO-member or a 21st century addition to the EU. Just yesterday, the far right TV channel Echo TV (you can easily call it local Fox News) interviewed a politician, who belongs to a movement called Momentum, that gained notoriety for blocking an attempt to hold the Summer Olympics, for the obvious lack of space, and money that could rightfully be spent elsewhere (like in healthcare, where nurses choose to work for IKEA because it pays better).

    That however wasn’t the reason. Recently, the movement put out a video on YouTube asking people to join the Pride Parade. Naturally Echo TV’s pundit asked if the movement, which has political ambitions and plans to partake in the 2018 elections, has a point that promises turning gay people back into heterosexuals. Okay, this might need some explanation. You see, they only talk about gays, because women don’t matter to them, nor do bisexuals or trans people. The pundit talks about reversion because they believe gays are former heteros going off on a wrong tangent.

    This is Europe in 2017, which should be a wake up call as to just how deep the divide is, and remains to be one for the foreseeable future. To provide an example: it’s no secret to any informed person, that Nazis chased those who was different to death. So, when published an article about a club called Aurora, where Jews, gays and Romani people could come together to have fun, Nick Griffin (the British far right spinster) saw it fit to envision a global conspiracy. Once finding out, that the place was in part sponsored by the Open Society Foundation, that is fully owned by Soros, it didn’t take long to find the “hard evidence”, and based in part of an arrest of a guy who smoke medical marijuana, authorities shut it down in a concerted effort.

    I don’t want to sound defeatist, but as long a new enemy won’t be found or they give up to find enemies (the latter is less likely knowing history), being LGBT will entail a closeted lifestyle.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    secondtofirstworld @ # 9 -- oops, I misread the map. Am still boggled even after correction.

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