Feature image via Getty
Just when I’d forgotten Autostraddle’s “We Won a Thing” tag exists, I woke up to the news that German parliament has finally approved same-sex marriage! The vote passed 393 to 226 on Friday after Chancellor Angela Merkel — presumably determined not to be outdone on the civil rights front by a country led by a deranged circus clown and a soulless theocrat — suddenly decided her Christian Democratic Union party members could “vote their conscience” on the issue. Merkel herself voted against the bill because blah blah one man one woman, but at the same time she “hopes that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace.”
The marriage equality bill also introduced full adoption rights for same-sex couples (which Merkel does agree with).
Autostraddle reader Maria clarified the politics behind the decision:
On Monday Merkel said something about marriage equality which was “never gonna happen” for the first time ever at an event – it was sort of an interview with live audience for a German women’s magazine. People aren’t sure how and why this happened, but what’s really obvious is that Merkel and her party, CDU, felt a lot of pressure after every single other party that is a possible partner for a coalition after the general election in September said they won’t negotiate marriage equality.
Now, it is pretty smart to get rid of that topic beforehand. What is not so smart: After years of saying “no, never” getting to a place of “maybe, everyone should vote their belief” while parliament is still able to vote. This was the last active week for our parliament in this term. Nothing would have happened if this event had taken place a week (!) later. This wasn’t staged, it wasn’t planned.
So after that, it was really the other parties – and the coalition partner SPD (who was, but for complicated reasons, complicit in stalling the vote for about 4 years) – who took the initiative. Everyone was very much “fuck this shit, we’re done with this” at that point. They were just doing it. They scheduled the vote AGAINST the protest of Merkel and the CDU, knowing they had the majority.
Cheers broke out in parliament and parties broke out in the street after the “marriage for all” amendment was approved.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 30, 2017
Parliament is heading into recess, after which the the bill will head to upper parliament for approval, and then President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will sign it into law. The New York Times expects gay Germans to be marrying each other by fall.
Congratulations, German gays! You really outdid yourself with your Pride celebration this year!