GERMANY: Bundestag Vice President Calls On State Of Bavaria To Challenge Marriage Equality Vote

Germany’s The Local reports:

Bundestag Vice President Johannes Singhammer of Angela Merkel’s Bavarian sister party the CSU told Die Welt on Monday that his state’s government should bring the matter of same-sex marriage to the Constitutional Court.

“In order to achieve legal clarity, I suggest that the Constitutional Court should be called upon,” Singhammer said. He added that individual citizens could file a challenge anyway.

“It would be faster, however, if a state government were to do this – for example the Bavarian government,” Singhammer said. “I would advise this so that we can swiftly gain clarity on whether the new definition of marriage is unconstitutional.”

Article Six of the Constitution regarding marriage does not explicitly mention gender in its definition, stating simply that “marriage and the family shall enjoy the special protection of the state”. But as Spiegel notes, the Constitutional Court has repeatedly interpreted the Constitution to mean that marriage only applies to heterosexual couples.

An amendment would also require a two-thirds majority vote, which proponents of same-sex marriage are unlikely to get unless there are drastic shifts in the Bundestag’s party make-up come September’s election.

Bavaria, whose capital is Munich, is Germany’s largest state by area and is widely considered the most conservative part of the country. Its Christian Social Union party currently holds 56 seats in the Bundestag.

Bavaria has a relatively small but vocal secessionist movement and in a recent poll about 20% of state residents supported independence. Earlier this year the Constitutional Court blocked an attempt to force a referendum on the issue.

  • bkmn

    Ahhhh….butthurt in the morning from conservatives that were blindsided.

  • Halou

    The people who cried “judicial activism” when the LGBT community appealed to the court system to defend their rights, now they themselves take to the court system to reinforce their privilege.

    • Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

    • Gerry Fisher

      Let’s all make a mental note not to take any conservative’s arguments seriously in the future. It should all be labeled, “Taking any position in any given moment that will help me win.”

      • narutomania

        a.k.a. “Scrambling”

  • Galvestonian

    Bavaria is VERY Catholic … and would probably put up the biggest opposition to same-sex marriage.

    • barrixines

      Looking at the figures, 68 percent of German Catholics are in favour of marriage equality. You’ll never find me defending the Catholic Church but I think it’s only fair to acknowledge that Catholic majority countries have really been at the vanguard of marriage equality. Though it could be true that the Conservative Catholics of Bavaria think differently.

      • Snownova

        Ah, but there is a difference between Catholics and the Catholic Church. Catholics in many countries use contraception at about average rates, despite what their medieval clergy has to say.

        • barrixines

          Absolutely – I think it’s the very lesson the Catholic Church gives that teaches Catholics to completely ignore them.

      • Harshan

        Bavaria, and the Constitutional Court, are part of a country in which 83% of the population supports gay marriage, and part of the EU, which increasingly supports it. Suing in the Constitutional Court is overwhelmingly likely to remove all doubt that same-sex marriage is constitutional. The only recourse for the anti-marriage forces then would be the European Court of Human Rights, where they would be in the weird position of asking a human-rights court to remove human rights. This is just a process of nailing it down.

        I don’t think the Catholic Church is as much of an influence in Bavaria as it thinks it is.

      • Harshan

        Every single one of the Muslims in the German Bundestag voted for Marriage for All.

      • andrew

        One of the reasons that the Catholic Church has lost it’s influence when preaching about marriage and sexuality is “Humanae Vitae” The encyclical in which Paul VI condemned contraception as a grave moral evil. The overwhelming majority of Catholics in the West practice contraception.

    • j.martindale

      Yet Catholics in Germany support marriage equality in larger numbers than the protestants.

      • FAEN

        Catholics here support it too. And let’s not forget Spain, Portugal and Ireland-bastions of Catholicism who passed equality before Germany. Spain and Portugal before the ‘land of the free’ I might add.

        • j.martindale

          Unlike the Evangelicals, the Catholics are more independent minded than their hierarchy. But even in Germany, there has been some movement where at least one bishop bucked the Vatican and apparently supported marriage equality.

          • FAEN

            That’s good to hear. I will never agree but I would grudgingly respect Evangelicals if they were consistent in their hate if that makes sense. However the only consistency they show is through their pick and choose mentality.

            How do you call yourselves ‘of god’ and then vote for hate, bigotry, discrimination-the very things Jesus stood AGAINST.


          • Because Evangelicals believe that condemning sin is more important than practising virtue. It is certainly more profitable for their, um, clergy — as the old saying has it, guilt built more cathedrals than faith ever did.

        • GanymedeRenard

          Let’s not forget Argentina – another Catholic country which also passed equality before ‘the land of the free’. Go figure.

          • FAEN

            Yes! Thank you for reminding me. Completely forgot.

    • Harshan

      Mainly in the heritage sense.

  • What a sore loser…here is something for you…

  • bambinoitaliano

    Next to god, the gays are the most profitable political pawn on planet earth.

  • JT

    Sing your hammer up your ass.

  • Gigi

    Why should “marriage and the family shall enjoy the special protection of the state”?

    • customartist

      “Special” rights

    • Because the Nazis had declared any marriages involving Jews to be invalid (and thus any children born from them illegitimate) in the name of racial purity.

  • worstcultever

    Oh that little scamp Bavaria. Always with the antics.

  • JT

    That guy looks like Lowell Weicker.

  • Ninja0980

    The bigots did the same thing here in NY.
    Funny how they always tell us to take it to the legislature or the people yet if we do those things, they sue anyway.
    Almost as if they are opposed to equal rights no matter how we get them.

    • customartist

      When they don’t want to take on the burden of doing their job & making a decision, then they direct us to another branch of government.

    • Acronym Jim

      And then if a court decides in favor of marriage equality, it is just passed by “activist judges.”

    • Almost?

  • billbear1961

    Article Six of the Constitution regarding marriage does not explicitly mention gender in its definition, stating simply that “marriage and the family shall enjoy the special protection of the state”. But . . .

    But, but, but, BUT!!!!1!!!

    That’s right: just keep people on edge.

    This same court has repeatedly ruled that committed same-sex couples should have the same rights as married straight couples.

    • customartist

      But…does “same” mean the “same” use of the word “marriage”?

      • Gustav2

        So far, not the use of the word “marriage.”

        • customartist

          Sounds “different”, no?

          • Gustav2

            As I have said before:

            Angela Merkel leaves no fence un-sat.

          • customartist

            If I had that mug I may have resorted to fence sitting as well?

          • BobSF_94117

            Sounds like they were waiting for the legislature to vote for SSM. Now it’s protected too…

      • billbear1961

        I will be very surprised if this friendly court suddenly stands in the way of equality when there is NO language in the Constitution about the GENDER of the spouses, about gender requirements.

        It’s hardly surprising that, in the PAST, when everyone thought of marriage as between husband and wife, some rulings might contain language that takes it for granted, but, in the past 15 to 20 years, the definition of marriage–the institution–has expanded in MANY countries to include same-sex couples.

        As far as I know, only in Ireland was a constitutional change necessary because in THEIR Constitution the definition was spelled out, specifically stating that it was a contract between a man and a woman.

        That’s why, in Ireland, a referendum was truly needed, legally, to change things, to change the Constitution.

        • customartist

          Incidentally, there is a growing contingent of conservatives who are attempting with some degree of success to organize states in order to amend the Constitution, not only in relation to Marriage or LGBT rights, although that is most certainly a motivating factor. Freedom means eternal vigilance.

          • AmeriCanadian

            It’ll be the 21st century equivalent of prohibition, including the repeal. Just about on time too. What a waste of money and effort!!!

    • Chris Baker

      and Germany has had civil partnerships for same sex couples. so “marriage” is just a change in terminiology and benefits.

  • Gustav2
    • worstcultever


      • Gustav2

        And they stank nice, too!

        You can smell them yards away.

    • billbear1961

      Prussians are more advanced than Bavarians.

      • Gustav2

        Reformation, Enlightenment, an early form of national healthcare…

      • GanymedeRenard

        It rhymes with barbarians. Just sayin’.

      • gothambear

        You are so right but how can men who wear those ADORABLE little Bavarian jackets be homophobic? I mean please…they all look they are working at Disneyland on the Matterhorn ride…

      • Kruhn

        Well, you know who lived in Bavaria after he moved from Austria? Hint : Had a funny mustache and hated The Jews.

    • barrixines

      Thank you for letting us enjoy your garden too. Lovely!

    • Joe in PA


    • Pat

      Pretty! Are those purple cornflowers in the background?

      • Gustav2


        • Pat

          Thank you. I’m still half asleep! Cornflowers are blue, coneflowers purple. They are pretty though.

          • Gustav2

            Need more coffee!

          • Pat

            IV, stat!

        • djcoastermark

          when I used to live in Cols, I grew Bee Balm and Coneflowers together. A very striking mix.

    • hudson11

      I bet the garden is full of perfume! Those trumpet lilies can be mighty powerful. I have one Regal Album left from a small patch- I thin the squirrels get the bulbs- and it puts out a lovely scent. Evening especially.

      • Gustav2

        Those rats with cuter tails have messed with different varieties of lilies bulbs.

        • hudson11

          Tulip bulbs as well. They cleaned our front garden of its massing of white tulips but for 1! We’re literally run away with squirrels in Vancouver. We had been given an even 100 of them as a wedding gift.

    • Treant


    • Acronym Jim


    • Hank

      The Mamas & The Papas – Safe In My Garden

    • Spotless!

      • Gustav2

        Or just a good camera angle.

        • Good camera angle, yes, and a superbly grown specimen: but it’s one of those Orientals that doesn’t show the russet spots on the petals that its chief ancestor Lilium auratum typically has. It does, however, display auratum’s splendid anthers, the largest, um, male sexual organ of any plant.

          • Gustav2

            Started as two bulbs, is now three with a 4th new ‘baby’

          • I’m envious!

    • gothambear

      Gorgeous lilies! Are they fragrant? Also like your coneflowers in the background. I have tons of lilies but for some reason I must have ordered only show bulbs with zero fragrance – i’m bummed.

      • Gustav2

        Very fragrant, you can smell them when you are yards away.

  • northern_neighbour

    We cannot be compassionate or tolerant towards our LBGT brothers and sisters, because, ….. well ….. uhmmmm ….. Jesus forbids us, and his dad, Gawd, wrote that into our Constitution, except some scribe screwed up and forgot to specify gender as Gawd had commanded.

    We had this problem once before, … uhm …. yeah … with the Jews, uhh … but back then we had Berkenau and similar solutions … and anyway, just one guy was able to make the decision. None of this large Bundestag majority thing … opposing Christ’s wishes.

  • FAEN

    Yeah because treating LGBT German’s equally under the law is harmful 🙄.

    This is the same BS they pull everywhere with the same BS arguments that don’t hold water.

    • customartist

      The same “harm” that Conservative’s could not demonstrate to the U.S. Supreme Court

      • FAEN


  • customartist

    Bavaria, the “Texas” of Eastern Europe

    • Snownova

      Central Europe, trust me in Eastern Europe things are much, much more dire.

  • OT/ The Independent ran a story about how all of the Muslim members of the Bundestag voted in favor of marriage equality. It’s kind of fun to see commenters not knowing who to hate.

    • Baltimatt

      The article refers to Merkel as an evangelical Christian. There are actully evangelisch meaning Protestant and evangelikal Christians meaning what we do by the term Evangelical. I think she is the former.

    • Hue-Man

      This should be the position of ALL religions – as long as they’re not forced to perform civil weddings, their existence should be irrelevant to their religion.

      • customartist

        But Oooh Nooh! It is not sufficient for believers to try to endoctrinate, um,…I mean ENcourage others to “see the light”. No, no. They have the self-appointed prerogative to force and coerce you, me, and every other living [and in some, um, let’s say, “Or-tho-dox”, cases] creature on the planet, in the heavens, and perhaps in other planetary systems, to conduct ourselves according to THEIR beliefs. It’s in da Constitution ya know?

  • margaretpoa

    Another example of why I have very little patience for those who love to claim that bigotry is a strictly American phenomenon. It is a HUMAN one.

  • Vidrax

    “He added that individual citizens could file a challenge anyway.” Wrong. They would have to be harmed by the new law, and being able to marry more people than before does not harm anyone. The government of the state of Bavaria could file such a challenge, though. In my opinion this is just sabre-rattling at this point, to placate the CSU’s conservative base.

  • Pat

    Isn’t Bavaria where Ratzinger, aka Benedict XVI, comes from? Small wonder they’re trying to fight this.

    • grada3784

      I’m pretty sure he did a stint as Archbishop of Munich.

      • Pat

        Yep, just looked it up. Big bully pulpit as a stepping stone to the biggest bully pulpit in the church. And we all know what compassion Benny showed to LGBT people throughout the years.

  • Ernest Endevor
    • customartist


  • radiofreerome

    “Bavaria” is German for “Alabama.”

  • Palmer

    Ah, Bavaria! Home of Ludwig II, Oktoberfest, and… the Nazi Party.

  • UrsusArctos

    Well? What did you expect? Bavaria is Germany’s analogue to Texas, complete with the idea they’re special (including a right to break away).

  • Jacob

    Insert cream pie joke here.

  • Acronym Jim

    Yo, Bavaria, if you’re worried about the world thinking you look too gay, that gay cruise line set sail a long time ago.×580.jpg

  • Reality.Bites

    Previous lawsuits were on whether or not the German constitution REQUIRES marriage equality and courts have said it doesn’t.

    They were not deciding whether or not the Constitution forbids marriage equality. I can’t see anything in the translations that could be logically interpreted that way.

  • JCF
  • joe ho

    Bavaria is a Catholic stronghold. Go figure.

    • andrew

      Bavarians identifying as Roman Catholics has been in gradual decline for decades. In 1970 70% of Bavarians identified as Roman Catholic. In 2014 52% did.