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Germany bursts into celebration as same-sex marriage is finally legal

Priyanka Chharia | Updated on: 1 July 2017, 17:59 IST
The Cologne Cathedral (L) and the church Gross St Martin (R) are seen in the background as a man hoists a rainbow flag, symbol of the gay and lesbian movement in Cologne, western Germany. (OLIVER BERG/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2001, even though Germany allowed civil unions between same-sex couples, it isn't until now that LGBT couples can legally marry like their heterosexual counterparts. One of the significant rights that same-sex German couples demanded was the right to adopt children, and with the passing of the bill, it seems such a demand will be finally fulfilled.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, daughter of a Lutheran pastor herself said that “a marriage under German law is only between a man and woman,” and hence decided to vote against the bill.

However, Merkel did not coerce her party members or coalition partners to follow her decision, who instead cast the vote based on their conscience. As a result, the Bundestag or the lower house voted in favour of the bill, with 393 voting for, 226 voting against and four abstentions.

The bill will now be passed on to the Bundesrat, Germany’s upper house, and will become a law only when German President Frank Walter Steinmeier officially approves it after 7 July.

While many came to the streets to celebrate the historic judgment, one must ask weather it’s too little too late? The legacy of homophobia has taken too long to dissolve in Germany, and while it is a step forward, it is clear that Germany missed the boat on this one.

MP´s from the Green party celebrate with confetti following a debate and vote on same-sex marriage in Bundestag, Germany´s lower house of Parliament in Berlin. (Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)
German MP Mechthild Rawert wearing a rainbow scarf takes a picture prior to a debate and vote on same-sex marriage in Bundestag, Germany´s lower house of Parliament in Berlin. (Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)
Leona (L) and Nuria (R) are celebrating the result of the vote outside the Chancellery with the Bundestag in the background. (Omer Messinger/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A wedding cake in rainbow colours and decorated with figurines of two women and two men is pictured in Berlin. (Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)
People are celebrating the result of the vote outside the Chancellery near the Bundestag. The lawmakers of the Bundestag (German Parliament) have voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, in a snap voting procedure in Berlin. (Omer Messinger/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
wo men are wrapped into a rainbow flag as they attend a rally of gays and lesbians in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)
First published: 1 July 2017, 17:59 IST
 
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