GERMANY: Merkel Signals Green Light For Marriage

The Guardian reports:

Angela Merkel has signaled a change in her party’s opposition to gay marriage after stating MPs should be allowed a free vote in the German parliament.

Speaking at an event organised by women’s magazine Brigitte, the German chancellor said she felt aggrieved that the gay marriage debate was mainly carried out along party lines and that she hoped the discussion would be “headed towards a conscience vote”.

It is widely believed the Bundestag would legalise gay marriage in a free vote on the issue. Germany is one of a few western countries where gay marriage is still not legal. Civil partnership has been allowed since 2001, but Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has resisted calls to open up marriage to same sex couples.

Deutsche Welle reports on how the revelation went down:

With just a few minutes left for questions from the audience, a gay man challenged the chancellor on the issue of same-sex marriage: He said that he wanted to know when he would finally be allowed to refer to his registered partner as “my husband.”

Merkel replied that she had noticed that all other parties in the Bundestag were in favor of same-sex marriage, and that the idea of gay marriage enjoyed widespread support among German voters. And then she dropped an unexpected political bombshell: Merkel said she “hopes” that the debate will shift “into the direction of a decision of conscience.”

In non-political speak this mean that there could soon be a vote in the Bundestag without party whip control on the issue, suggesting that same-sex marriage may only be months away from becoming a legal reality in Germany.

  • bkmn

    Fire up the haterz and their lies and deception and baseless paranoia.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b08261c45483789024d9f3a71b8b5b3c3f4ce121b43f382d226a6dcd2e09c360.jpg

  • Tawreos

    I hope she follows through on it soon.

  • Gustav2

    You can always count on Germans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else the Roman Catholics want.

    • Todd20036

      That wasn’t exactly always the case, though

    • j.martindale

      Uh, actually, the Catholic percentage of support of same sex marriage in Germany surpasses that of the Protestants. Furthermore, Catholic bishops in Germany are breaking with Rome in their support of marriage equality.

      • nowaRINO

        All that is left in the Protestant church is the conservatives.

  • Ninja0980

    If she wants to be the leader of the free world, then there is no way she can keep pushing the separate but equal bullshit when it comes to marriage equality.

  • Robert Pierce

    It’s a vote getter. Elections take place in September. She’ll get the landslide our vile Theresa May could only dream of.

    • Cackalaquiano

      As an American, I sorta giggle at you calling your leader “vile.” If only our leader were merely that bad.

      • Tomcat

        Yeah, I am ready to trade leaders.

      • -M-

        From the western side of the ‘pond’ Ms May does seem barely more credible than Nigel Farage. But you’re right I’d much rather have their bumbling thoughtless cowardly idiot instead of the psychotic grifter in chief.

    • Kruhn

      Don’t know if she’ll get a landslide. But it’ll protect her party from defections to the left.

    • Capritaur

      Part of the Left see an oncoming demise of what they define as neoliberalism and attributes the successes of Brexit and Donald Trump. According to some leftist discussions, Justin Trudeau, whom they consider to be a neoliberal, only won because of the lack of a populist opposition.

      Of course, the defeat of Marine le pen by another “neoliberal” Macron is countervailing to this trend that they see, but le Pen arguably is arguably even less palatable than Donald Trump, who is corrupt, incompetent, but ideologically vacuous, compared to le Pen’s avowed fascism. Similarly, Theresa May’s marginal victory shows that leftist candidates do not necessarily prevail in the current political climate.

      Now, nobody could be perceived as more “neoliberal” than Angela Merkel. While she does enjoy relative popularity within Germany and unrivaled international cachet, I wonder how a far-right populist movement will play out in Germany, especially given their historical baggage.

      • Reality.Bites

        Canada tends to reject populism. The Conservatives were only able to regain power by bringing the party back together after splitting into a populist wing and a traditional wing under Stephen Harper, a man who never met a crowd he didn’t want to avoid.

        I think in general it’s a crap shoot to try to use one country’s election results to analyze or predict another one’s. And perhaps more so Canada’s than others. Let’s face it – most of the people talking about Justin Trudeau didn’t even know Canada was HAVING an election or who was running in it till some photogenic guy showed up on their newsfeed.

        It’s pretty simple – one guy was a mean high school principal and the other was the fresh-out-of-uni swimming coach and drama teacher who has fun assignments and lets it slip that he smokes weed. We got rid of Harper because we really, really didn’t like him personally.

        • marshlc

          And because we have a strong tradition of voting strategically.

          I seldom vote Liberal because I am a little more left wing, but if the NDP or Green candidate doesn’t have a chance in my riding, but the Liberal could win, hell yeah I’ll vote Liberal. This last election there seemed to be more coordination than in the past on getting the vote to where it would count most – probably because of social media.

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        Those electoral results you mention did not happen in a vacuum. Putin has been in overdrive trying to support populist parties/candidates in the West for at least five years.

  • Johannes Stier

    It looks like we may have full mariage equality by the end of the week. But lets better wait and see. She did this because it’s election time, not because she suddenly had a change of heart. Its not a controversial topic anymore and this way the other parties can’t use it as an argument during their campaigns.

    • billbear1961

      By the end of the week?!

      That’s marvellous!

      • Johannes Stier

        It depends. There is still one parliamentary session before the summer break on friday. If they manage to put it on the agenda, lawmakers can vote for it before the election in September. But it is the last chance.

        • billbear1961

          She has provided the spark to get the parties moving to call for a vote!

          • Johannes Stier

            Sorry, Merkel never provided a spark. She is as anti-sparking as you can get. The only thing that helped moving this along is constant pressure from outside the parliament. Don’t get me wrong. This is a huge step forward. But a bittersweet one at best.

          • billbear1961

            I’m very glad that people from outside parliament have put constant pressure on her and her coalition!

      • Baltimatt

        http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/ehe-fuer-alle-so-will-die-spd-die-bstimmung-im-bundestag-erzwingen-a-1154641.html

        Der Bundestag wird wohl noch diese Woche über die Ehe für alle entscheiden. Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen macht die SPD gemeinsam mit Grünen und Linken den Weg für eine Abstimmung frei – und überrumpelt damit die Union.

        The Bundestag could well still decide this week on marriage for all. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, the SPD togeher with the Greens and the Left will clear a path for a vote – and cacth the Union by surprise.

        • billbear1961
          • bzrd

            Yes! another beautiful piece to start the morning. Thank you Mr. Bear

          • billbear1961

            You’re welcome, sweetie!

            Thank the Chancellor of the Free World!

          • Baltimatt

            Hi, Bill. Thanks.

        • Heatherjedwards

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          • Baltimatt

            Flagged, Schlampe.

        • Lynn Treuber

          I don’t understand. The SPD and the Greens are in the minority. How can they catch the Union by surprise? And how can it be a surprise if it is being reported on in Der Spiegel?

          • Baltimatt

            SPD, Greens, and the Left make up a majority of the Bundestag, although the ruling coalition is CDU/CSU/SPD. SPD has not wanted to upset the coalition agreement up until now, but with elections coming up, I guess they figured why not?

          • Lynn Treuber

            OK, thanks for that. But how is it in Merkel’s interest to allow a vote now? If it passes on Friday, then the SPD gets most of the credit since they were the ones really pushing it and she merely allowed it to happen. And she would piss off the CSU and its voters. Wouldn’t it be more to her advantage to signal that she will allow a vote but then put it off until after the election?

          • Baltimatt

            I really don’t know.

          • Lynn Treuber

            I’ve been doing some reading on this in the English-language German press. The answer is that a vote on Friday doesn’t help her. Her plan was to announce that she is in favor of a conscience vote at some unspecified point in the future. That would take the issue off the table for the election. But the opposition Social Democrats seized the moment and demanded that the conscience vote be held now. They broke from the coalition b/c a vote right now helps them. Merkel is probably dismayed but there is nothing she can do since she is on record favoring a conscience vote and if she tried to hinder a vote, she would be blasted for dishonesty.

          • Baltimatt

            Thanks for looking into that.

        • Todd Allis

          Wunderbar!

        • Holy crap! I’m in an airport heading to Berlin to visit for a week. If the timing is right, I might be there when it happens.

          • Baltimatt

            Enjoy your trip!

    • justmeeeee

      she did it because it’s election time? in other words, she’s a politician? (cf Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, buh buh buh buh buh…)

      • Tomcat

        Isn’t that what ALL politicians do? Why single out Hillary and Obama?

        • justmeeeee

          Hill-bots, calm down! I actually happen to be in favor of same sex marriage my own self, ya know. It’s not a slam against your queen.

          • fuow

            Given that the Supreme Court is poised to rule…
            In the case of a conflict between conservative Christians and Gays, a coin will be flipped:
            Heads – the conservative Christians win.
            Tails – the gays lose.

            …Gratuitously attacking Democrats is not going to be too popular around here for a while.

          • justmeeeee

            how clever and original!

          • That_Looks_Delicious

            Kellyanne, go into the light. Go into the light, Kellyanne.

          • JCF

            Dunning-Kroger Effect.

        • Dagoril

          It’s a troll. Attacking Hillary & Obama is the only thing it does.

    • JT

      She has been ridiculously slow in this, which suggests some kind of baggage.

      • Kruhn

        Yeah the Bavarian party that is part, but independent of the CDU.

    • Kruhn

      OMG! Angela Merkel listened to my recommendation. Since her party would probably not agree to marriage equality, call for a free vote.

    • Librarykid

      It’s sort of like a drowning person reaches out desperately and wildly for anything that might save his or her life.

    • ospalh

      There’ll probably be a *vote* on Friday.
      The bill i read had a period of two whole month for implementation.
      Even with a vote on June 30, it’ll take a while until the President can sign it.
      So the first full gay marriages will probably be October 1.

  • billbear1961
    • AJ Drew

      Sometimes I am Pollyanna, sometimes you bring me Bach [groan] with his world-weary yet wonder about it all, and Magnificat merges both worlds for me.

      • billbear1961

        :O

        🙂

        Hi, Sarah!

        • Hiya, Bill! What’s new?

  • Fritz Keppler

    Wir hoffen’s.

  • greenmanTN

    Germany and Australia are the two most conspicuous Western countries which have yet to adopt marriage equality. Angela Merkel, so far as I know, has never convincingly been in favor of it, so if anything this is just theater.

    I could be wrong. I could be right.

    https://youtu.be/zN-GGeNPQEg

    🤡

    • Reality.Bites

      I think Italy is pretty conspicuous too and is farther away from equality

      • billbear1961

        And let’s not forget Australia and Switzerland!

        Support for M.E. in Italy is around 55%, last time I checked.

        It’s around 60% in Switzerland and near or above 70% in the other three.

        • Shy Guy

          I think Austria and Switzerland will flip fairly quickly once Germany does. Germany’s equivocation has given them an excuse not to go ahead thus far.

          • billbear1961

            I hope you’re right!

            (Hello, Shy!)

          • Shy Guy

            Me too. I know Austria’s a bit conservative like Bavaria.

          • billbear1961

            How is your tooth?

            😉

          • Shy Guy

            Whole once more!

          • billbear1961

            Good!

            🙂

      • Shy Guy

        That’s the Catholic church for you.

        • BudClark

          The Catholic hierarchy at the bottom of the Marianas Trench would be a good start …

      • greenmanTN

        Right or wrong I guess I see Italy as Catholic Central so have lower expectations.

        But I felt the same way about Ireland and they were the first to adopt marriage equality by popular vote. But Ireland was well and truly screwed by the Catholic Church for decades (if you haven’t reached your limit of awfulness today look up Magdalene Laundries) and that was, at least in part, a big ole fuck you to the Catholic Church.

        How the CC behaved in Ireland was a textbook example of why theocracy is a really bad idea. The priesthood pretty much treated orphanages as a private game preserve, until they all should have been named Our Lady Of Fish In A Barrel. And the nuns were no picnic either, abusive monsters with a modicum of power.

    • JT

      Political expediency it appears.

      • -M-

        Whatever works.

    • Adam King

      I doubt she gives a damn one way or the other.

  • billbear1961

    If you want to be the TRUE Leader of the Free World, you must back equality 100%, Chancellor!!

  • Reality.Bites

    People are saying that at the G8 summit Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau gave Merkel her first look at gay sex and she changed her mind.

    • DaddyRay

      Pics or it didn’t happen

      • DaddyRay

        Asking for a friend

      • Reality.Bites

        You were that little brat who wouldn’t clap for Tinkerbelle, weren’t you?

      • billbear1961
        • Two neoliberal shills. But cute.

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            Have you considered trying Bleach Smoothies? I hear it does wonders for regressives and the like.

          • You’re suggesting I kill myself? Very nice!

          • JD

            No less concerned about the neoliberal model that has evolved over the last decades, but think/hope that Trudeau has more strategy up his sleeve than people give him credit for. Some decisions in the moment seem counterintuitive, but in retrospect have moved things forward…to where? Hope/think to harnessing capitalism in favour of people. (I know, eternal optimist .)

          • marshlc

            He’s way, way, way, better than Harper would have been, don’t get me wrong, but Trudeau is not wildly progressive. Very mainstream middle of the road – in Canadian terms, which might look progressive to Americans.

    • justmeeeee

      so would I. so would anybody.

    • Michael

      Justin Trudeau could talk anyone into anything when it comes to gay sex.

  • JT

    It’s about fucking time, Merkel. Not get busy!

    • billbear1961

      “Now” not “not”!

      🙂

      • JT

        Danke.

        • billbear1961

          Bitte.

  • billbear1961
  • justmeeeee

    Once again the leader of the free world shows she’s got what it takes!

    • Tomcat

      Are you saying she has cohunas? Very interesting.

      • justmeeeee

        wanna try grabbing to find out?

        • Tomcat

          No, I’ll wait for the tv movie.

      • Acronym Jim

        Doesn’t everybody? I mean where else would you keep your stockings?

  • TuuxKabin

    School boys in UK switch to skirts, shorts are not permitted, during heat wave. It’s a bit hot there.

    https://weather.com/news/weather/news/british-school-boys-beat-heat-and-dress-code-by-wearing-skirts

    • AJ Drew

      In France, not just the lads, also their Dads…

      https://youtu.be/bWJloWvop2I

      • TuuxKabin

        Ah, better yet. I still look good in a just above the knee skirt. When we’ve got the gams, show ’em, sure.

        • hudson11

          who’da thought? i suspected the gams, but the dresses? pix please. 🙂

          • TuuxKabin

            you don’ got one, ‘memember? With that cute lil’ hat, rakishly askew on my needless noggin’, el Husbertarian sitting next to me, on that rock, by the ojo de agua? Dat’s a mini. Not shorts.

          • hudson11

            =8-O

    • GayOldLady

      Oh, that’s wonderful. I remember as a girl being forced to wear uniform skirts or jumper to school in the winter when the weather was zero. We weren’t even allowed to wear slacks under our uniforms. There needed to be compromise then, there needs to be compromise now. The ridiculous dress “norms” society forces upon women and men need to go. Wear what you like, when you like. Be comfortable.

      • TuuxKabin

        I’m with ya’! One of the housemates in Mexico, told me, ‘oh, you look like Popeye’s girl friend.’ I came out on to the patio in a long flouncy Carmen Miranda out fit, and huge Nike sneakers, goofy hat on my head to help set up lunch and she had us both doubled over laughing. That I would look like Olive Oyl? No underwears beneath a long skirt? So comfortable and cool.

      • AJ Drew

        Yes! It goes both ways, though I do think women had/have it worse. I remember having to wear “gym shorts” (and whoa were they short back in the day,) even during Winter and do laps outside. Did I mention it was a Catholic school? One plus… dang, I knew I was gay. Ahem.

    • Reality.Bites

      Brits are so cute. From your link:

      According to weather.com meteorologist Christopher Dolce, temperatures have hovered in the upper 70s and low 80s for the past week.

      I have a friend who moved to Canada this year from the north of Scotland. He thinks it’s too hot for long pants long before it hits 70.

      • TuuxKabin

        I took to wearing flouncy skirts around home in tropical Yucatan, was very comfortable and got laughs from house mates. Down there it rarely gets below 70, and when it does, the locals wrap towels around their throats and necks to prevent a chill.

        • barrixines

          A few years ago I bought a filmy white cotton djellaba in Fez and wore it out in Barcelona quite a bit in the summer months. I looked the business even if i say so myself. A couple of weeks ago at the start of the heatwave I dug it out of the cupboard but, well – sic transit gloria mundi and all that – I now just look like a big gal in a caftan.

          • TuuxKabin

            At least it was glorious, prolly still is to many. Now that I’m full bodied, I know what you mean. However, your self description of snake hips and London, Turkish cabbies, comes to mind now when I see a narrow hipped fellah go by. Something zo very appealing ’bout that.

          • barrixines

            Well my head is still saying Lawrence of Arabia but the mirror is saying Mama Cass. (I’m joking a bit – but not much…)

          • TuuxKabin

            Mama Cass came to mind, glad you brought it up, rather than my mentioning it. Tho Mama Cass still has a rare comfort level about her. Miss the ol’ gal.

          • Adam King

            What a doll she was. *sigh*

          • TuuxKabin

            She made me sigh, and sometimes shed a ll’ tear from time to time. Love her to this day.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–NDOQHw3Y0&list=PLwifB7tiyhUxUANaMWj0N0rALF7eO_ECv

          • TuuxKabin

            Just sayin’, to a friend . . .

            Perla Batalla Tour Dates – Summer/Fall 2017.
            Barcelona, Spain. Wed, Nov 1 – Jamboree Jazz

            Barcelona, Spain (Hostalets de Balenyà)
            Fri, Nov 3 – Teatre Municipal L’Ateneu

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbdjdzZSpPo

        • BobSF_94117

          I’ve seen teen girls in parkas when it dips to the high 60s (once in five years, all the way down to 68). They didn’t zip ’em up, but they wore them.

          • TuuxKabin

            In Yucatan? I always got a chuckle in September when holiday crap goes on sale. The parkas, ski caps, etc. For them I understand it, they’re not used to cool temperatures. I would gloat to myself, thinking during the winter months, “at least I’m not cold.”

          • BobSF_94117

            On St. Thomas. In “winter” it’s 72-84. 68 is a “cold snap”. The real problem is humidity. It goes from “humid” to “muggy” to “oppressive” to “miserable”.

      • AJ Drew

        “70”… is that Celsius, Fahrenheit, or years? /s

        • Reality.Bites

          Fahrenheit – thought it best to be consistent with the article. Had I been writing it on its own I’d have said he thinks it’s too warm for long pants around 14 or 15.

        • Adam King

          The older I get the less I can stand the heat. I’m worried about winding up in one of those nursing homes where they keep the thermostats cranked to an unbearable 73 or so.

      • Silver Badger

        “… temperatures have hovered in the upper 70s and low 80s for the past week.” During Colorado summers, the upper 70’s are considered comfortably cool. In Nebraska, people wear jackets.

        • Adam King

          I have friends from Hawaii who shiver and put on jackets on pleasantly cool Ohio summer evenings.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        As do most Canadians

  • SDG

    Yay!

  • Silver Badger

    “… Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has resisted calls to open up marriage to same sex couples.” Once again Christian hate shows its ugly face.

  • It’s about fucking time.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Yes, yes, because America is so star spangled perfect on LGBT rights and issues. /s

  • fuow

    Es wird aber auch Zeit!

  • Halou

    I know a few people in Poland who might want to cross the border for a few days.

  • billbear1961
    • BudClark

      This is what organs were SUPPOSED to be, before Hope-Jones got ahold of them!

      The tempo is a little fast for my taste, but if you’ve got it, flaunt it! (chuckle)

  • joe ho

    A good move. She’s now the leader of the free world. She needs to live up to her new role.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    There’s my girl, I knew she’d come around. The only reason it took so long is because A) she bigger fish to fry and B) she had to work within the parliament make up she had.

    Either way, good for her; because, as goes Germany, so too does Europe.

    • Zollergasse

      Sorry but the rest of Western Europe have been way ahead of Merkel on this one. Her leadership on marriage equality has been woeful. The UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, all of Scandinvia all have gay marriage. Germany is an incredibly progressive country and she’s dragged her feet too long on this issue – and is only moving now because it’s good politics. Having said that, I’m thrilled it looks like it’s going to happen and hope my adopted country, Austria, will finally be shamed into taking action.

  • S1AMER

    ‘Bout time, Angela!

  • FormerMainer

    Finally!

  • customartist

    Incidentally, Germany has a “Church Tax”

  • Randolph Finder

    I’m actually still skeptical. There is only a week left in the current session and that’s probably not enough time to actually bring this to a vote. If it doesn’t come up this week, it gets kicked down the road until after the election this fall, and that gives her a chance to both hold the votes that might have gone to the center-left and either manage to get a majority just from CSU/CDU or *theoretically* an alliance with the AfD (which would be quite comfortable in the US Republican party, and thus pretty far right for Europe), but the AfD would insist on massive changes on immigration.

    A good sign yes, but it isn’t like she’s actually supporting Marriage Equality herself.

    • Zollergasse

      They’re talking about voting on Friday. This appears to have momentum. I’ hoping the Austrians will follow Germany’s lead. These two countries have been painfully slow on this issue.

    • Lynn Treuber

      I can’t think of a single country or a single state where this was voted on and passed so quickly. There is always months of drama and debate leading up to it. I’d be amazed if this is simply voted on and passed on Friday. It’s not gonna happen.

      • ospalh

        This is the *end* of the *years* of drama.
        The Bundesrat (sort-of upper house of the DE Parliament) did a bill in 2013. That became moot with the 2013 Bundes*tag* (lower house or sort-of main parliament) election. Then the Bundesrat tried again in 2015, and the Union (CDU/CSU, i.e. Merkels’s folk) people in the Bundestag committee have been sitting on their tucheses ever since. Then the Greens tried to force a vote, but the Constitutional Court shot them down just two weeks ago. Then everybody but the Union and the far-right AfD said they’d insist on it. Then Merkel moved about one micrometer and said, yeah, well, the SPD is allowed to join the Greens and the Left and maybe she wouldn’t treat it as breaking the coalition agreement.
        And so now everybody is praising Merkel for her brave stand on gay marriage. Well, uhm, …

  • KnownDonorDad

    Mach schnell!

  • JCF

    ‘Bout Damn Time!

  • greenmanTN

    Raped with big dildo, rough.