Bundestag Approves Same-Sex Marriage
Enlarge image Celebrating the vote on same-sex marriage at the Brandenburg Gate (© dpa)
In a historic decision, the German Bundestag voted in favor of same-sex marriage on Friday. Many parliamentarians celebrated the vote in the chamber, and hundreds of revelers gathered at the Brandenburg Gate.
Chancellor Merkel said that she hoped that with today's vote not only that there is mutual respect between different positions but also that a piece of social peace and cohesion could be created. Though the Chancellor voted against the measure, she cleared the way earlier this week for members of her party to vote according to their conscience.
Germany has until now only recognized civil unions between same-sex partners. With the Bundestag vote, Germany joins 11 other European Union countries that recognize marriage between same-sex partners.
“Germany voted for love,” was the headline for a statement by the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany. "It is a historic day! Not only for lesbians and gays, but also for a fair and democratic society. Whether one can marry in Germany or not will no longer be decided by gender but by love, cohesion and the promise to be there for each other in good times and in bad."