Today – on June 30, 2017 – in what the president of the
Parliament, Norbert Lammert, called “an unusually early meeting with unusually
many deputies and journalists present,” Germany joined many of its fellow
western European nations in legalizing same-sex marriage!
Polls show that the majority of German people have been in favor of same-sex marriage for several years. Today that will of the people was reflected in the 393-226 passing of a bill that will legalize same-sex unions (x).
Although same-sex couples have been able to enter into civil
unions for many years, they could not enter into marriages equal to that of
straight couples until today’s historic ruling. The parliamentary vote was
spurred on by Prime Minister Angela Merkel announcing on June 26th
that not only had she undergone a “life changing” experiencing by meeting a
lesbian couple who were foster parents for eight children, but that she was
aware of the popularity of the same-sex marriage issue and would call for a
free vote in the future. The German people, who have long since been in favor
of same-sex marriage according to various polls, immediately began pressuring
their government for a vote on the matter as soon as possible. Despite her
seemingly new supportive stance, Angela Merkel voted against the June 30th
bill; however, that did not stop the LGBT community and many German political parties that are supportive of LGBT rights from celebrating the
historic turnout of the vote, which was resoundingly affirmative. The bill will
have to be voted through Germany’s upper house, Bundesrat, next week before it
will officially become law, but the likelihood of that happening is very high
and the German people have already begun celebrating – both on Twitter with the
hashtag #EheFuerAlle (MarriageForAll) and on the streets across the nation.