Why even wonder, if the majority of German Bundestag (parliament) just outvoted those against single-sex marriages, therefore making the date of the 30th June 2017 historical? Na ja- says any other German- but didn’t Angela Merkel herself vote against the new regulations?
She did and even despite upcoming elections her move is confusing, especially after casting a closer look on a chart below.
Fot. 1, Budenstagsradar, spiegel.de 01.07.2017.
Grey dots mark the votes against the new law and colored ones show the votes in favor of it, with differentiation for parties. Black dots are from CDU-CSU Union, grey are from Greens, red from SPD and purple from the Link. For those who want more details and data on the Bundestag’s votes and parties, here is a link to an interactive chart: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/bundestagsradar-das-sind-ihre-abgeordneten-a-928365.html#abstimmung=21 (feel free to play along with it and see how many widowed men are in each party or what are the next planned votes).
The alteration of paragraph 1353 gives it a new formula, as follows: ‚A marriage is closed between two persons of same or different sex for life.’. Not much of a change not only for the sole sentence (the addition of the word ‘same’) but in fact, for gay community in Germany. Already in 2001 German law legalized civil unions for same- sex partners. Moreover, following this regulation, only same-sex couples had the right to close a civil partnership, which somehow never outraged any heterosexual couple (except for me, when I, at some point of my life, wanted to close a partnership with my male partner to gain us some rights without getting married- it turned out to be more or less impossible). Meanwhile, many of my gay friends in Germany stated that they are married- who knows where they did it, but apparently they simply used the Gastfreundschaft of other countries- hospitality of Netherlands or France.
The major change for gay couples is the fact that they now can officially adopt children while none of them is a biological parent. A less measurable alteration is in the perception of gay marriages that must follow the new rule: that they are not only the caretakers of their own children, but they can be caretakers of our children. Gay people can now adopt any abandoned child and raise it to be a healthy and worthy citizen. Even Angela Merkel changed her opinion about ‘the good of the child’: after having dinner with two lesbians and their numerous offspring she officially admitted, that gay parents are no worse than a mother and a father.
Still, she played her game differently than many of her partners in politics and many of her fellow citizens. According to recent poll, 83% of Germans support gay marriage and they are happy and relieved to see last vote’s results. Does she think they will forgive her for being a through- conservative? For sticking to her old beliefs, while the world puts a step forward, rejects intolerance and superstitions?
They might. After all, Germans are forgiving and they price individualism. She voted as her conscience told her to: she still claims to believe that marriage is only a union of a man and a woman. She wasn’t afraid to lose votes by not going with the flow. People are, after all, eligible to deny some groups of citizens equal rights, even after discovering that all rational arguments against it were pure prejudice- having a choice is a part of democracy.
 Budenstagsradar, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/ehe-fuer-alle-bundestagsradar-zeigt-die-stimmen-der-abgeordneten-a-1155210.html, 01.07.2017.
 Same sex marriage why liberal Germany took so long to give gay couple equal rights, http://www.newsweek.com/same-sex-marriage-lgbtq-germany-gay-rights-angela-merkel-630234, 01.07.2017.
 Homo-Ehe: Mehrheit der Deutschen für gleichgeschlechtliche Heirat, https://yougov.de/news/2017/06/23/homo-ehe-mehrheit-der-deutschen-fur-gleichgeschlec/, 01.07.2017.