German Politicians Push For Gay Marriage Legalization

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), a partner in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union ruling coalition, said Sunday it would initiate a new bid to legalize homosexual marriages in the country.

The parliamentary leader for SPD, Thomas Oppermann, told Der Spiegel magazine it would raise the issue at the next meeting of the right-center coalition and added that the Green Party also supported the move and would push for the same.

Katrin Goering-Eckardt, Green Party’s parliamentary group leader, said her party would like to ask for public debate regarding the issue.

“For years, we’ve seen nothing but hot air from the conservatives and the SPD,” she told Reuters.

German Family Minister Manuela Schwesig, a Social Democrat, said in order to progress socially, legalizing homosexual marriage is essential. “It’s time for the conservatives to move on this issue. It must stop putting the brakes on modernization,” she said.

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats opposed the move in the past and due to differences in opinion among the coalition. By highlighting this issue, the SPD wants to differentiate itself from Merkel’s conservatives. SPD hopes that in the upcoming elections, which will be held in September, it will be able to form a government along with smaller parties, separate from the coalition with the Christian Democrats, according to Channel News Asia.

In Germany, the coalition government that was formed between Merkel’s Christian Democrats and SPD in 2015 agreed to minor changes in same-sex civil partnership rules. However, Merkel’s conservatives heavily opposed gay marriage and thus prevented it from being approved in the German government.

Thirteen European countries that approve of homosexual or gay marriages and also perform them are Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Spain.

Eighty-three percent of Germans supported legal equality for gay or same-sex marriages, a study by Germany’s Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency found in January.

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