Germany's Parliament Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Jun 30, 2017

(BERLIN) — German lawmakers have voted to legalize same-sex marriage in a snap vote only days after Chancellor Angela Merkel changed her longstanding position.

Lawmakers voted 393 for legalizing "marriage for everybody" and 226 against with 4 abstentions.

Merkel herself voted against the measure, but paved the way for Friday's vote after saying Monday that lawmakers could take up the issue as a "question of conscience" — freeing members of her conservative coalition, which has been against same-sex marriage, to individually vote for it.

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but same-sex marriages remain illegal.

All of Merkel's potential coalition partners after the Sept. 24 election, including the center-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.