Same-sex marriage legalized in Germany

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The German parliament on Friday legalised same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would allow her conservative lawmakers to follow their conscience in the vote.

The German legal code was changed to say “marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex”, in the bill that was strongly supported by leftist parties.

The reform grants full marital rights, including child adoption, to gay and lesbian couples, who in Germany have been allowed since 2001 to enter so-called civil unions.

The lower house passed the bill by a margin of 393-226. The upper house has already approved it, and the measure is expected to enter into force before the end of the year.

The election-year bill was pushed by Merkel’s leftist rivals who pounced on a U-turn she made in an on-stage interview Monday — a manoeuvre that left many of her conservative lawmakers fuming.

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