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German opposition calls on Merkel to follow Ireland on equal marriage

Nick Duffy May 25, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives an interview bto German women's monthly Brigitte, on the stage at the Maxim Gorki theatre in front of a live audience in Berlin on June 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

The German Green Party has called on Angela Merkel to follow Ireland in introducing same-sex marriage.

The Republic of Ireland overwhelmingly voted to introduce same-sex marriage in a referendum last week, with 62.1% voting in favour and 37.9% voting against.

Following the victory, political leaders in a number of other countries – including Northern Ireland, Australia and Italy – are calling on their governments to follow suit.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing calls for her Grand Coalition government to catch up and introduce equality.

Germany allows same-sex couples to enter into registered life partnerships that provide some of the benefits of marriage – but the Chancellor’s CDU/CSU coalition continues to oppose same-sex marriage.

Opposition Green leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt told Die Welt: “It’s time Mrs Merkel.

“The Merkel faction cannot just sit out the debate on marriage for all. I am confident that the Irish vote will accelerate equality in Germany.

“This is a great signal from Ireland. Equal love deserves equal respect.”

Jens Spahn, of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, also expressed hope despite his party’s opposition.

He told the newspaper: “What the Catholic Irish can do, we can do, too … The populace is often further along in these matters than we think.”

A string of court rulings have already forced the government to take a more proactive stance on equality – calling for the recognition of same-sex parents.

More: Angela Merkel, Gay, Germany, Politics, Rights

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