Germany’s parliament voted on Friday (June 30) to legalise gay marriage after Chancellor Angela Merkel did an about-face that freed members of conservative party to vote their “conscience” rather than follow party lines.
Norbert Lammert, president of the parliament, said 393 lawmakers voted to approve the amendment, while 226 voted against and four abstained.
Merkel, who will seek a fourth term in a national election on Sept 24, said on Friday she voted against the Bill given her personal view that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but she hoped parliament’s approval of the measure would lead to more social cohesion.
“For me, marriage in the Basic Law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favour of this bill today,” she told reporters moments after the 393-266 vote in favour of an amendment that will legalise same-sex marriage.
“I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace,” she added. Many other European countries, including France, Britain and Spain, have already legalised same-sex marriage.