Germany’s parliament has voted by a wide margin to legalise same-sex marriage following Chancellor Angela Merkel’s about-face on the issue of same-sex parents, which freed members of her ruling conservative bloc to vote their personal conscience rather than party line.
Merkel, who will seek a fourth term in a national election on September 24, told reporters after the landmark decision she had voted against the measure because she believes marriage, as defined under German law, is between a man and a woman.
But she said her decision was a personal one, adding that she has become convinced in recent years that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children.
"I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between the different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace," Merkel said.
The parliament voted by 393 votes in favour of same-sex marriage to 226 against.