Way to go Deutschland! Better late than never. And it was a surprisingly quick process too. Unfortunately, Merkel voted no. What a shame.
BERLIN — When Sarah Kermer proposed to her girlfriend in March, she knew she was in love, but she did not know when, if ever, Germany would allow them to marry.
The answer came early Friday morning, when the lower house of the German Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage after a brisk but emotional debate, prompting Ms. Kermer and scores of other gay and lesbian Germans to celebrate in the streets.
“I was at work, and I just started crying,” Ms. Kermer, 25, said as she and her fiancée left a spontaneous gathering at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin. “I was watching the decision on live-stream, and I cried — a lot. This has all happened just so fast.”
The historic decision came with a swiftness rare in Germany’s usually staid politics, just five days after Chancellor Angela Merkel unexpectedly relaxed her party’s opposition to same-sex marriage and allowed lawmakers to vote on the issue according to their consciences.
Ms. Merkel’s softened resistance opened the way for her coalition partners in the Social Democratic Party and two other political groups to press for a vote on the measure, which had previously been blocked by Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their conservative allies. Ms. Merkel voted against the measure on Friday, but many of her party colleagues voted in favor, allowing it to pass easily — 393 votes in favor and 226 against, with four abstentions.
With the passage of the measure, Germany will join Ireland, France, Spain and other nations in extending full marital rights to same-sex couples, including the right to adopt children.