Germany’s president has signed legislation legalizing gay marriage, his office said Friday, paving the way for the bill to take effect this fall. Lawmakers approved the bill on June 30 in parliament’s last session before Germany’s September election. The move became possible after Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservative party had long been reluctant to budge on the issue, said she would allow its lawmakers to vote according to their conscience. The presidential office said President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the legislation on Thursday. That means it will come into force Oct. 1 at the earliest.
More from Germany’s The Local:
Leading members of the conservative CSU/CDU parties (also known as the Union) still remain displeased with the vote and have called for the law to be challenged before Germany’s Constitutional Court. Bavaria itself – whose Minister President is Horst Seehofer, the head of the CSU – has said that it is considering filing a legal challenge and is consulting with legal experts. Volker Kauder, leader of Merkel’s CDU in the Bundestag, told Tagesspiegel earlier this month that his party is going to depend on Bavaria’s assessment of whether to file a complaint.