German parliament on Friday legalized same-sex marriage.
The country has now joined many other Western European nations and the United States, that have already approved homosexuality.
Although since 2001, same-sex couples in Germany were given the freedom to form civil unions but were not allowed to marry themselves.
Notwithstanding her stands on the issue of gay marriages, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel put the issue up for the vote after saying on Monday that lawmakers could take up the issue as a “question of conscience,” freeing members of her ruling Christian Democratic Party to vote in support.
Speaking with reporters after the votes, Merkel who voted against the measure said she believes that “marriage is marriage between man and woman.”
“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,”
“I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace,” she said.
According to reports, 393 lawmakers voted for same-sex marriage while 226 voted against it.
Reacting to the decision, Merkel’s main political rival, Martin Schulz of the Social Democratic Party, said “This gives unity and the right and freedom in Germany now for all those who love each other.”