German Parliament set to vote Friday on gay marriage


German MPs are pressing Chancellor Angela Merkel for a free vote in parliament soon on legalising same-sex marriage, after she signalled a shift in her party's position on it.

Earlier on Sunday, ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, the last Social Democrat to lead Germany, told delegates the party could still win, reminding them of the SPD's fightback to run Merkel close in the 2005 election - the last one he fought.

Same-sex civil partnerships have been allowed in Germany since 2001 but marriage is a step up from that.

The SPD's call for gay marriage comes just a week after the Greens set a similar condition, putting pressure on Merkel's CDU, which has so far refused to allow same gender couples to tie the knot.

Mrs Merkel also suggested she had changed her mind about the right of same-sex couples to adopt children, an issue with which she once said she had "difficulties". The party has long advocated for "family values", and Merkel herself has opposed giving adoption rights to same-sex couples before.

Could Germany be headed for a parliament vote on marriage equality?

He also sharply condemned Germany's nationalist AfD party, lobbied for better integration of immigrants and promised that his Social Democrats would not sign coalition deals with other parties unless they support legalizing same-sex marriages in the country.

In the interview with the editor of Brigitte, Merkel spoke about a range of personal and political issues.

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It seems that Merkel's CDU meanwhile would prefer to dangle the prospect of legalizing gay marriage like the proverbial carrot in front of a donkey, hoping to confirm and expand the party's broad support by making the parliamentary vote on gay marriage one of the first points of order for the next government.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights activists say they will march for Pride in Istanbul, despite a ban by the governor's office.

Rather than waiting for the formation of the next parliament, however, members of the CDU, SPD and Greens, demanded that the issue be resolved immediately.

"Merkel and (Finance Minister Wolfgang) Schaeuble were very firm when it came to policies like austerity in Europe but you hear little to nothing from them about the rule of law and democracy in the European Union", he said, taking aim at Hungary and Poland. Twitter user Pepper Ann wrote Tuesday. "We can vote this week". He added that those who rejected the notion of equating traditional marriage between a man and a woman with so-called gay marriage should treat the decisions of others in the Bundestag with respect.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief challenger in September elections, Martin Schulz, faces a party congress on Sunday where he will be pressed for a strategy to reverse his plunging popularity. "The biggest danger is the arrogance of power".

"The desperation must never be so deep that democrats accuse democrats of attacks against democracy", he said.

To that end, Schulz has focused much of his campaign on social justice.