Germany’s far-right planning legal challenge to halt equal marriage

Germany’s far-right Alternative für Deutschland party, which is led by an openly gay politician, is planning a legal challenge to block same-sex marriage.

After years of delays, the lower house of the German Parliament gave the green light to same-sex marriage last week in a landslide vote.

But the path to the first same-sex weddings may not be smooth, with the country’s anti-LGBT movement gearing up for a fight.

The far-right AfD is already planning a legal challenge, arguing that the change would actually require an amendment to Germany’s constitution.
AfD leaders Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel

The country’s constitution states that marriage “shall enjoy the special protection of the state”.

The document does not set out a specific definition of marriage, but courts have previously held that it referred to “a union between a man and a woman for a long-term life partnership.”

The AfD may file a challenge on the grounds that the constitution needs changing. The action could potentially lead to massive delays for gay couples waiting to marry – despite the party being led into the federal election by lesbian politician Alice Weidel.

Weidel’s co-chair Alexander Gauland told Bild: “We are currently considering a case before the Federal Constitutional Court.

“I am for such a step. [Gay marriage] submits to values ​​that harm our society. “

After the vote, the party’s website also featured a mocked-up obituary for ‘family values’.

It said: “In quiet remembrance, we say goodbye to freedom of opinion, which was today buried by the ‘representatives of the people’ in the German Bundestag.

“In deep sorrow, we say goodbye to the German family, whose constitutional protection was buried by the ‘representatives of the people’ in the German Bundestag.

“We ask not for condolences, but for help to get rid of the members of the Bundestag in the September 24 election.”

The party recently picked a 38-year-old lesbian as candidate for Chancellor the upcoming elections.

Alice Weidel, who is considered a relative liberal within the party, has two children with her same-sex partner.

The politician has always dismissed accusations of hypocrisy for backing a party that remains staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and adoption – while herself raising children a gay family.

Though she is gay, Ms Weidel is far from an LGBT activist, declaring that “political correctness belongs on the rubbish heap of history.”

Set to take place in September, the country’s federal elections will see Chancellor Angela Merkel attempts to secure a fourth term in power.

In a move seen by many as a political ploy, Merkel permitted the vote on same-sex marriage to go ahead last week despite blocking it for more than a decade prior.

She cast her own vote against same-sex marriage, explaining she believes it should be “between a man and a woman”.

The early move heads off trouble down the line, as several opposition parties had set out demands on the issue for any coalition deal after the election.