Angela Merkel says gay couples should not call their unions ‘marriage’
German chancellor Angela Merkel, has said that while she agrees same-sex couples should get marital benefits, she does not believe a civil partnership should be called marriage.
Merkel, who earlier this year ruled out same-sex marriage in Germany, has now said legally she supports it but that she would want it to be called something else.
The chancellor answered questions in an online community from German YouTube star Florian Mundt, known as LeFloid on the website, as part of the ‘Gut Leben’ [good living] campaign.
“I’m someone who is very supportive of us eliminating all discrimination.” She said when asked for her stance on marriage equality.
“We have come a long way; when I remember, 25 years ago, many people didn’t dare to say that they are gay or lesbian. Luckily we overcame this; you can enter a partnership, a civil partnership.” Merkel said.
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“For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together. That is my concept, but I support civil partnerships.” She continued. “I support us not discriminating against them when it comes to taxes, and to remove any other discrimination wherever we may find it.”
Mundt accused Merkel of wanting to keep marriage between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples separate, although it would be the same on paper.
“For me, there is still a difference. It’s not the same, but they (same-sex couples) want the same. Everything else is an exclusion for me.” She said.
Merkel said that people, including herself, have to accept that there are different opinions on the matter, as the opinions in her own party as well as in the German government differ, but, “you’ll have to endure that for a while.”
“I don’t want discrimination and (I want) equality, but I make a difference at some point.” She explained
“So you could say: no to discrimination, but we’ll keep differentiating between the two.” Her interviewer countered.
“No discrimination.” Merkel answered.
“Marriage as a man and a woman living together.” She concluded.