German Bundestag votes for same-sex marriage

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Monday, July 3, 2017

On Friday, the Bundestag, the German parliament, voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage. The bill was passed on the last day before the parliament's summer break.

With 393 members voting for legalising same-sex marriage, four members abstained leaving 226 against votes. German chancellor Angela Merkel, on June 26, said she would allow parliamentarians to vote their own conscience, and Martin Schulz of the Social Democratic Party, on the next day, asked for voting before the election in September.

"I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between the different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace", Merkel said. She voted against same-sex marriage, she told the media, explaining she believed the German constitutional definition of marriage required a man and a woman.

"Marriage for all is decided. Thus, there is unity and justice and freedom in Germany now for all who love." ((de)) German language: Die Ehe für alle ist beschlossen. Damit gibt es Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit in Deutschland jetzt für alle, die sich lieben. , Schulz tweeted. After the voting, Germany's capital football club Hertha Berlin tweeted "For diversity and against discrimination" ((de)) German language: Für Vielfalt und gegen Diskriminierung , and hoisted the rainbow-coloured flag — a symbol of the LGBT community.

Civil partnership has been legal in Germany since 2001, but this bill awaits the president's signature to enter the lawbooks. Other countries in Europe where same-sex marriage is legal include Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, and the whole of the United Kingdom except Northern Ireland.

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