German opposition calls on Merkel to follow Ireland on equal marriage
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.
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.