German Chancellor Angela Merkel | YouTube, France 24

The Facts

  • Germany’s lower house of parliament voted on Friday to legalize same-sex marriage.
    • The draft law passed with 393 votes in favor, 226 against, and four abstentions.
  • The measure must be approved by Germany’s upper house of parliament and signed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before it becomes law.

The Context

  • Same-sex couples in Germany have had the ability to form civil unions since 2001.
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the legalization of same-sex marriage, relaxing her party’s opposition to the issue, at an event organized by Brigette magazine on Monday, 26 June.
    • Merkel said she did not believe a vote on the matter should come down along party lines, but rather that it was “a really personal matter” that German Members of Parliament should vote their conscience on, according to summaries of her comments by The Guardian and Foreign Policy.
      • (Note: You can hear a clip of Merkel’s comments from last Monday, spoken in German, at this link with subtitles in your chosen language by clicking on the settings icon right next to the “CC” button and selecting your preferred language.)
    • Merkel, who is a member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), made this statement after other political parties announced they would not enter into a coalition with the CDU party unless same-sex marriage legislation passed, according to The New York Times.
      • “With us Greens, there will be a coalition only with the marriage for all,” said Anton Hofreiter, representative for Germany’s Green party, as translated to English by Google in a statement published on their website on 20 June.
      • The CDU party is not expected to hold enough seats to govern by itself after the elections set to take place in September, according to the Times.
  • After members of the German Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage on Friday, Merkel posted a statement on Facebook (English translation via Facebook):

“Finally, there was the question of the full adoption of children. Some may recall that, in 2013, I did not give a satisfactory answer to this question, and I have, in the meantime, worked very hard on the issue of child [adoption] and I am now in the process of changing my position to the conviction that the full adoption for same-sex couples should also be possible.”

  • Those previous statements made by Merkel expressed that she had “difficulties” with granting adoption rights to same-sex couples.

“I am unsure what is good for the child, and this uncertainty I would simply like to be allowed to express without wanting to discriminate against anyone.”


  • Parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats, Thomas Opperman said during the opening floor debate of the draft law, according to the New York Times:

“If the Constitution guarantees one thing, it is that anyone in this country can live as they wish. If gay marriage is decided, then many will receive something, but nobody will have something taken away.”

  • CDU’s Chief of Staff, Peter Altmaier, and German Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, voted for the measure.


  • Merkel voted against legalizing gay marriage in Germany on Friday. Merkel wrote on Facebook (English translation via Facebook):

“As far as the question of marriage is concerned, it is my understanding that the the protection in article 6 [of the German constitution] includes the marriage of man and woman, and this conviction has also led me to say that we are trying to clarify this question. Marriage to same-sex couples should also be seen as conscience. For me, marriage in the basic law is the marriage of man and wife. And that is why I did not agree with this draft law today. It is true what has been said today in the debate. It was a long, intensive discussion, which is also very emotional. This also applies to me personally, and therefore I hope that with the vote today, not only the mutual respect between the different positions will be there, but that it could also create a piece of social peace and cohesion.”

Stephanie Haney contributed to this report.

The Whim News Team

The Whim News Desk

We'd rather be second and accurate than be first and wrong. The Whim News Desk is a dedicated team of researchers and investigators committed to presenting the news without bias. Follow us @TheWhimOnline for daily news coverage without the spin!

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