Germany: Parliament approves bill to legalize same-sex marriage

The Bundestag has approved a bill that allow gay and lesbian couples to get married, just days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel chose to drop her longstanding opposition to a vote on the issue.
Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The German parliament voted Friday morning to legalize same-sex marriage, joining more than 20 other Western countries, including the US.

The bill to amend Germany's legal code to include gay marriage was approved just days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a free vote on the issue. Merkel herself voted against it, but urged parliament members to vote according to their conscience.

"I hope that the vote today shows not only the mutual respect for different opinions but that this also leads to more peace and social cohesion as well," she said after the vote.

In Israel, the law does not allow gay and lesbian couples to get married, though the state does recognize a marriage that was performed overseas.

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