Germany’s parliament broke into a standing ovation when the bill to legalise same sex marriage was passed this morning.
The historic vote saw the marriage-rights bill pass in the Bundestag with a clear majority of 399 votes to 226, two days after the proposal was announced on Wednesday (28 June).
Prior to the bill’s passing, same-sex couples could only enter civil unions.
Now, couples of any gender will have the same marital rights as same sex couples, as well as full adoption rights.
The Twitterati have come out in full force to celebrate the decision, including EU Brexit lord and the Prime Minister of Belgium, Guy Verhofstadt.In fact, the responses are pretty-tear inducing stuff.
Although Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her Christian Democratic Union party a free vote in the proposal, the leader herself voted against equal marriage in the vote.
“For me, marriage in German law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favour of this bill today,” said Merkel.
“I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace.”
LGBT campaigner and coalition partner politician Johannes Kahrs has criticised the Chancellor for “embarrassing” delays in introducing the measure.
“Frau Merkel, thanks for nothing,” he said in an impassioned speech.
The German legal code will now read: “Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex.”
In spite of the Chancellor’s vote, the bill is expected to be signed on 7 July, just in time for Germany’s Pride celebrations, which take place in the same month.
To date, 24 countries have now granted full marital rights to same-sex couples.
In a recent lobbying attempt, Ben & Jerry’s announced they would not serve two scoops of ice cream in their Australian parlours until Tony Abbott’s government granted the country equal marriage rights.
Photos: Rex Features