Two years ago, same-sex marriage became a federal right in the United States. Since then, other countries have adopted similar legislation, allowing equal marriage rights regardless of sexual orientation. In 2017, 21 countries around the world have either legalized same-sex marriage in parts of the country or nationwide. And thanks to a recently passed bill, Germany will soon join that list (and just in time for the final days of pride month!)
Germany passed legislation in favor of same-sex marriage on Friday. The bill, which will give same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, passed 393-262 with four abstentions, including a vote against the bill from Chancellor Angela Merkel. Despite her personal vote and her historically conservative political party, Merkel encouraged lawmakers to make their own decisions when voting. Though she still publicly renounced the principal of same-sex marriage and its place in the German constitution, Merkel said that she hopes with today's vote "a piece of social peace and togetherness could be created."
Next week, the bill is said to pass in Germany's upper house, the Bundesrat, which has been known in the past to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.
Germany is now one of dozens European nations including Ireland, France, and Spain, have legalized same-sex marriage. According to BBC News, the German legal code reads, "Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex." In addition, the bill allows for same-sex couples the right to adopt children.
According to the New York Times, Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary leader of the Social Democrats said in the opening floor debate, “If the Constitution guarantees one thing, it is that anyone in this country can live as they wish."
There you have it! One more win for love around the world.