In what seems to be a great news for the gay couples, the German MPs have voted to legalize same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote.
As news came that the bill had passed — convincingly — they broke out into loud cheers, wept tears of joy and exchanged kisses. Some popped champagne corks in celebration despite the early hour.
The German legal code will now read: “Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex”.
The bill was backed by 393 lawmakers, 226 voted against and four abstained.
Once Germany’s Senate approves the bill next week, as expected, homosexual couples in Germany will have the same rights as heterosexual couples to marry and jointly adopt children — barring any legal challenge.
During her 2013 election campaign, Mrs Merkel argued against gay marriage on the grounds of “children’s welfare,” and admitted that she had a “hard time” with the issue.
The usually-cautious chancellor said she had had a “life-changing experience” in her home constituency, where she had dinner with a lesbian couple who cared for eight foster children together.
Earlier, scores of people gathered outside the Bundestag in Berlin on Friday morning awaiting the results.