A standing ovation, a round of applause, and a confetti cannon all marked the moment same-sex marriage was legalised in Germany.
In 2011, civil partnerships were legalised for same-sex couples, however, marriage was not something that lawmakers agreed with until today.
The results showed that parliament was clearly in favour of the movement, passing with 393 votes to 226, with four abstentions, which now makes Germany the 14th EU nation to grant equal rights to same-sex couples.
Lawmakers were given the choice of putting either a red or blue ballot into the box, red signifying a ‘no’ and blue signifying agreement with the bill. The chancellor was seen dropping a red ballot into the box, expressing her disagreement with legalising same-sex marriage.
Although Merkel has always made it clear that she would be voting against the bill, she earlier relaxed her constraints regarding the Christian Democrats and permitted lawmakers to freely vote their opinion and follow their own conscience.
This allowed an additional 70 people to back the motion, which evidently swayed the vote and resulted in an overall favour of the bill.
Despite her objection to same-sex marriage, Merkel is in favour of the bill allowing adoption rights to be equal since she met a lesbian couple who were raising eight foster children.
Speaking after the passing of the bill the Chancellor said: “I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between the different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace.”
Arnd Bächler, a counsellor and addiction therapist at Berlin’s gay counselling center, expressed how important this bill is for LGBTQ individuals, “it’s very positive for the self-esteem of gays and lesbians; it’s very important for people coming out, knowing that they have this equality; and it sends a clear message to any homophobic refugees coming to Germany: We have equality here,”
The draft law could be passed by the 7th of July by the president, which means that Germans could be able to marry before 2018.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Follow Gemma on Twitter @gemmafaithfull
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.