In a recent statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, declared she will no longer oppose legislation to legalise equal marriage in Germany, in contrast to the unconcealed opposition her party Christian Democrat Union (CDU) has been supporting since 2005, when she explicitly indicated that she feared negative consequences for adopted children.
“I would like to steer the discussion more towards the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote” the German Chancellor declared three months before the general election to be held on September 24th.
This entails that members of Merkel’s CDU will no longer be obliged to follow the party line and cast their preferences according to her instruction but rather their personal conscience.
Soon after the elections, it is expected that legislation on equal marriage will be swiftly passed by parliament, as major German parties have been demanding a legislation allowing same-sex marriage. Several would-be CDU coalition partners might have forced Angela Merkel’s hand, demanding support for same-sex marriage as a fundamental condition of their support.
Ms. Merkel refrains from openly supporting same-sex marriage, no doubt to avoid creating discontent among her supporters, already deprived of other pillars of CDU’s political agenda.
Although some German MPs suggested an early vote on the issue later this week, this is likely to have to wait until the next elections before it is actually discussed in parliament. Moreover, some members of CDU’s sister party CSU appear to still be resistant to the idea of even considering discussing such topics in Parliament.
Ms. Merkel’s gear shift appears to have been encouraged by a specific episode the Chancellor’s private life, after accepting a dinner invitation from a woman and her female partner who care for eight foster children she was struck by the clear evidence that the children were very well looked after, Angela Merkel came to the conclusion that CDU’s argument against same-sex marriage was no longer valid.
Although this may only be perceived as a move to avoid harsh political opposition (80% of Germans currently support same-sex marriage), Angela Merkel’s remarks set Germany on a path allowing the country to catch up with the rest of European countries that currently support same-sex marriage.
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