Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated a change in her viewpoint on same-sex marriage, and that she will open a path to a vote on marriage equality in Germany’s federal legislature, the Bundestag, according to The New York Times. The Bundestag may hold a vote as early as Friday.
In an interview with the live talk show Brigitte, Merkel said she would allow for a conscience vote in the Bundestag, which will likely lead to marriage equality in the European Union’s biggest and wealthiest country.
Merkel is up for re-election in September for a fourth consecutive term as chancellor. Her new position followed a decision by her left-leaning coalition partner, the Social Democrats, who announced that their continued support for Merkel’s government would be contingent on her backing marriage equality. Merkel’s party, the conservative Christian Democrats, have not officially backed marriage equality (although many individual legislators from the party support it).
An opinion poll conducted last month showed that 66 percent of Germans support full marriage equality. Germany has allowed same-sex civil unions since 2001 but it does not allow joint adoptions by same-sex couples.
HRC will closely follow the potential marriage equality vote in Germany this week. Follow HRC’s blog for the latest updates.