BERLIN – The Latest on German vote on same-sex marriage (all times local):
Some lawmakers in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc spoke against legislation approving same-sex marriage, but Berlin Christian Democrat Jan-Marco Luczak urged his fellow party members to vote yes.
Luczak said: "It would be absurd to try and protect marriage by preventing people to marry."
Many applauded Merkel's comments that opened the way for the vote, but Social Democrat lawmaker Johannes Kahrs noted in the debate that the chancellor had been a longtime opponent of gay marriage.
Kahrs said: "Many thanks for nothing."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she voted against same-sex marriage because she believes the country's law sees it as between a man and a woman, but that the opposite view must be respected.
Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in a snap vote Friday. Merkel paved the way for the vote with comments earlier in the week that freed members of her conservative bloc to vote according to their conscience, rather than the party line.
She says "for me marriage as defined by the law is the marriage of a man and a woman" but she continues to see the interpretation as a "decision of conscience."
The measure, which is expected to see legal challenges, also opens the door for gay couples to adopt — which Merkel says she supports.
German lawmakers have voted to legalize same-sex marriage in a snap vote only days after Chancellor Angela Merkel changed her longstanding position.
Lawmakers voted 393 for legalizing "marriage for everybody" and 226 against with 4 abstentions.
Merkel herself voted against the measure, but paved the way for Friday's vote after saying Monday that lawmakers could take up the issue as a "question of conscience" — freeing members of her conservative coalition, which has been against same-sex marriage, to individually vote for it.
Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but same-sex marriages remain illegal.
All of Merkel's potential coalition partners after the Sept. 4 election, including the center-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized.
German lawmakers have agreed to put the legalization of same-sex marriage to a vote in parliament's last session before its summer break, paving the way for the likely passage of the law.
Bringing the measure to a vote in Friday's session, the last before September elections, was fast-tracked after Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday lawmakers could take up the issue as a "question of conscience," freeing members of her conservative coalition, which has been against same-sex marriage, to individually vote for the measure.