A historic vote in Berlin as gay marriage is legalized in Germany

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As gay pride celebrations – known as Christopher Street Day – come to an end in Berlin (and just start up in Hamburg) the country celebrates a huge victory for LGBT rights in Germany – the right to marriage.

A decades-long struggle

July 14, 2017 will go down as a historic day in Germany’s progression. Gay and lesbian activists proudly wave flags and raise banners which phrases like “Choose Love” as Germany’s parliament legalized same-sex marriage. Despite the rain, cheers, whistles and sounds of champagne popping could be heart all around the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel near the Reichstag building.

Sören Landmann, a member of the “Marriage for All” initiative says he’s very happy with the results.

“I got married one year ago in Scotland because we were not allowed to do it in Germany. I am inconceivably happy that a couple that would like to get married won’t have to go abroad for it anymore, and that they can now get married here in a very normal way.”

A “Vote for Love”

Lawmakers votes 393-226 in favor of marriage equality, a huge victory for many. One politician, Volker Beck, a veteran gay rights campaigner was especially satisfied, ending his 23-year career as a lawmaker on this historic day.

The center-left social Democrats, Greens and far left Linke party were the main proponents behind the bill. But it was also supported by 75 conservative lawmakers after Merkel allowed for the vote of conscience to take place (despite the fact that she voted against the measure herself).

Surveys also show the majority of Germans are behind the results of the vote. According to estimates, roughly three-quarters of Germans are in support of marriage equality. And according to the Lesbian and Gay Association, which has been pushing for the reform since 1990, the results indicate that “Germany has voted for love”.

“This is a historic day!” they added. “Not only for lesbians and gays, but also for a more just and democratic society.

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