Merkel now goes easy on same-sex marriage

Berlin, Tuesday German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dropped her opposition to same-sex marriage, giving gay and lesbian groups reason to c...

German MPs are pressing Chancellor Angela Merkel for a free vote in parliament soon on legalising same-sex marriage. Photo/Agency

Berlin, Tuesday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dropped her opposition to same-sex marriage, giving gay and lesbian groups reason to cheer while depriving opposition parties of a key campaign issue three months before elections.

Speaking at a forum yesterday evening, Merkel (pictured) said she was open to a vote of conscience on the issue, in which lawmakers are freed from toeing the party line—and in which the reform would almost certainly pass.

Previously, the leader of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) had repeatedly voiced her personal reservations about full marriage rights, including joint adoption, for same-sex couples, citing “the well-being of the children”.

Merkel’s shift comes as polls show that large majorities of German voters, and all other mainstream parties, are in favour of allowing same-sex marriage, which has been legalised in many other major Western democracies in recent years.

Germany currently allows so-called civil unions, which were legalised in 2001 under a green-left government. Merkel’s about-turn opens the door for her CDU to form potential alliances after the September 24 vote, with either current partners the Social Democrats, the Greens or the Free Democrats, who all favour gay marriage. -AFP

The post Merkel now goes easy on same-sex marriage appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.



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