Gay couples can now get married and adopt children in Germany, thanks to a snap vote made just before the German parliament’s summer break.
On Friday, Germany’s Bundestag legalized gay marriage, passing the bill 393 to 226, with four abstentions. Prior to the vote, gay couples were recognized as civil partnerships.
Merkel explained her vote by stating she recognized marriage as a union between a man and a woman as under the German constitution. However, she said she felt that same-sex couples should be able to adopt children, and hoped the legalization led to “social cohesion and peace.”
According to BBC News, the vote was a last-minute decision led by Merkel, who, during an onstage interview earlier this week, said she noted the other parties’ support for gay marriage and would allow a free vote. She had a “life-changing experience,” she said, after sharing dinner with a lesbian couple that fosters children.
Shortly after her appearance, Twitter users pushed for the vote using the hashtag #EheFuerAlle, or #MarriageForAll.
Mein Plan: Die erwartete gute Nachricht Ende der Woche würde ich mit einem Heiratsantrag an meine Frau krönen – wenn ich darf! #Ehefueralle— Andrea Meyer (@Andreacmeyer) June 26, 2017
Volker Beck, a Green Party politician and advocate of gay marriage legalization, said the vote as “a success for democracy.”
BBC News reported 83 percent of Germans were in favor of legalizing gay marriage and adoption. Germany’s legalization of gay marriage makes it the 14th European country to do so.
H/T Deutsche Welle