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Published On: Fri, Jun 30th, 2017

Germany approves same-sex marriage

Danielle Haynes
United Press International

Two woman hold a placard reading “Love wins in Germany” as they celebrate outside the chancellery the approval of same-sex marriage by the German parliament Friday in Berlin. (Photo by Felipe Trueba/EPA)

BERLIN (UPI) — The German parliament on Friday passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage after Chancellor Angela Merkel, who voted against the measure, encouraged her party to vote their conscience.

Members of Germany’s Bundestag voted 393-226 to pass the bill, and four people abstained.

Merkel voted no, saying “For me marriage as defined by the law is the marriage of a man and a woman.” But she encouraged her conservative Christian Democratic Party — which has long opposed same-sex marriage — to take up the measure as a “question of conscience.” She said hoped a vote in favor would bring about “more social peace.”

Merkel also said she believes same-sex couples should be able to adopt children.

The chancellor’s recent comments on the topic spurred the last-minute votein parliament before its summer break.

Germany becomes the 14th European country to approve same-sex marriage, the first of which was the Netherlands in 2001. Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy have not OK’d same-sex marriage, but do allow civil partnerships.

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Germany approves same-sex marriage