German MPs debate prior to a vote on same-sex marriage in Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of the parliament, in Berlin, June 30, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she has voted against a bill to legalize same-sex marriages in Germany, which was nevertheless approved at the German parliament.
Out of the 631 lawmakers in the Bundestag, 393 voted in favor of the bill to legalize such marriages on Friday. Another 226 lawmakers voted against it.
Merkel, who is also a member of the Bundestag, said she was among those who voted no because she believed marriage was the preserve of a man and a woman.
“To me, marriage as defined in the German constitution means the marriage between husband and wife, and that is why I voted against the law today,” she said.
This image shows German chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Christian Democrat Union party parliamentary group leader Volker Kauder (R) prior to a debate and vote on same-sex marriage in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of the parliament, in Berlin, on June 30, 2017. (By AFP)
Merkel had said before voting that there was no need to follow party lines on the matter and that lawmakers had to vote on the bill as a “decision of conscience.”
Merkel’s 253-strong Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD), with 56 seats, had been against the bill.
On Tuesday, the SPD leader and candidate for the chancellery Martin Schulz took Merkel at her word and broke coalition ranks to call for an immediate vote on the issue.
The CDU slammed the call for the vote as a “breach of trust” after four years of joint rule.

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