Germany has legalised same-sex marriage in line with a host of other European countries. German lawmakers had voted 393 for- and 226 against legalising same-sex marriage.
Since 2001 Germany permits same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships but do not grant them full marital rights which include the possibility to jointly adopt children.
The new law can enter into force after receiving the nod from the upper house of Parliament and the President, though those are formalities.
Though Chancellor Angela Merkel had voted against the measure, she had allowed her party members to vote as per their conscience. The move has to be seen in the light of upcoming September 24 general elections in Germany. This bill is one of the very last to be introduced in parliament before the September general elections. In her 12 years as Chancellor, Merkel has steered her party clear of conservative orthodoxy. She has been credited for speeding up Germany’s exit from nuclear power and ending military conscription.
Many European countries have a same-sex marriage law. In the countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark (excluding the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, France, the UK (except Northern Ireland and Jersey), and the Republic of Ireland civil marriages are legally recognised. But in Austria and Italy, only civil partnerships are permitted.