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Federal Assembly vote brings Germany one step closer to marriage equality

Federal Assembly vote brings Germany one step closer to marriage equality

Members of Germany's biggest LGBTI organization staged a protest demanding full marriage equality outside the Federal Assembly building.

Germany’s Federal Assembly has decided on a proposed law granting same-sex couples full marriage equality.

Representatives of nine of Germany’s 16 federal states voted for the resolution, called the proposed law for the establishment of the right to marry for people of the same gender; no support came from the seven states governed by Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

The assembly’s decision puts pressure on the German government, as the proposed law will now go before the German Federal Parliament and delegates will have to vote on the matter.

Despite today’s decision, experts predict the coalition government of Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats will reject the law.

‘It’s about time to abolish the prohibition of marriage for lesbian and gay couples,’ said Irene Alt, minister of the state of Rhineland Palatinate, during the debate.

‘I believe today is going to be a good day for equality in this country.’

She also called the ban of same-sex couples adopting a child together – doing so is only possible through successive adoptions – harassment; even more so considering Germany frequently uses rainbow families as foster homes due to their ‘exceptional sensitivity and care’ in fostering.

Volker Beck, an openly gay Green MP, demanded there should be no party line enforced in the vote – before offering the Chancellor a cup of tea ‘for her gut feeling’, which she said was keeping her from granting marriage equality.

‘Mrs Merkel, give up your blockade and let members of parliament vote freely and without diktat on the Federal Assembly’s proposed law,’ he wrote on Facebook.

Earlier this morning (25 September), the Lesben- und Schwulenverband (association of lesbians and gay men, LSVD), the Green Party and members of the public staged a protest outside the assembly building, demanding marriage equality.

When speaking to Gay Star News, the LSVD welcomed the assembly’s decision.

‘Of course it’s a continuing act of discrimination when things that are nearly equal are still carrying different names,’ Helmut Metzner, one of the LSVD’s board members, told GSN.

‘It would be easier for everyone if it was acknowledged that the concept of marriage does not depend on the partners’ gender.’