On a vote Friday, German lawmakers have now made same-sex marriages legal. Previously only civil unions were allowed, but in a 393 to 226 vote it was passed. This vote is seen as sudden though. NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that this is because:
National elections this fall have something to do with it. At this point, 83 percent of Germans favor same-sex marriage and a majority even in Chancellor Merkel’s CDU party are said to favor it. So when Merkel, during a conversation with journalists from the women’s magazine Brigitte earlier this week, said she thought MPs should vote their conscience.
Her hope, however, was to have the vote happen after the election in the new parliamentary session, but her ruling coalition partner and main challenger party, the SPD, were having none of it. The Social Democrats with the Left Party and Green Party forced the issue onto the last parliamentary day’s agenda.
The New York Times thinks this decision may pave the way for more German-speaking countries to have same-sex marriages legalized. This would be in countries such as Austria and Switzerland. Congratulations to those in Germany that are positively affected by this though!