German Parliament’s upper house passes call for same-sex marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The upper house of the German Parliament has passed a resolution calling for the country to introduce same-sex marriage, in a snub to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Chancellor Merkel recently shot down calls to introduce same-sex marriage – claiming “same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government” after opposition Green leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt directly calling on Merkel to act.

However, in a challenge to the Chancellor’s authority, the upper house of the German Parliament has today passed a call for equality.

Unlike the Bundestag, where Chancellor Merkel’s right-wing coalition has a majority, the Bundestag is controlled by the 16 state governments, with a current left-wing majority.

Nine states, represented by the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Left Party, today backed a resolution calling for equality, titled: “Marriage for all – resolution for the completely equal treatment of same-sex couples”.

It is unlikely to make a real legislative difference in the country, as legislation on the issue is unlikely to pass the Bundestag without the government’s blessing.

However, Deutche Welle reports that the state premier Rhineland Palatinate , Malu Dreyer, said: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

It was not universally accepted, however – with Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback of the CSU branding it “an attack on marriage” and “a transparent political manoeuvre.

Germany allows same-sex couples to enter into registered life partnerships that provide some of the benefits of marriage – but the Chancellor’s CDU/CSU coalition continues to oppose same-sex marriage.