Where can gays march stark naked at Pride but not marry?
Yes, you guessed it – Germany.
Angela Merkel’s recent interview on YouTube has highlighted the country’s refusal to accept same-sex marriage – even though it is perfectly legal for a man to parade through the streets of Berlin naked, minus some carefully placed gold body paint – as this picture of a gentleman taking part in Berlin’s recent Pride march demonstrates.
And although her interviewer – YouTube sensation Florian Mundt, known as LeFloid – may have refrained from tackling the German Chancellor on her approach to gay rights, many of the comments she made served as further proof that one of Europe’s biggest economic and political leaders still has a long way to go when it comes to the basic issues of equality.
Following Ireland’s overwhelming vote in favour of same-sex marriage earlier this year, Merkel faced calls for her government to catch up and introduce equality, with opposition Green leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt directly calling on Merkel to act.
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 have flatly refused to introduce same-sex marriage.
A spokesperson for the Chancellor said at the time: “Today was an important milestone in dismantling discrimination and the chancellor is pleased about that… but same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government.
“Every country makes its own laws – some countries go one route while others go another. In Germany we’ll take a path that suits Germany.”
Some have blamed the government’s coalition agreement for lack of flexibility on the issue.
However, the recent discussion on the online community confirmed that the Chancellor herself is in no rush to welcome changes to the law concerning same sex marriage, despite a large number of her strongest political allies – including France, England and now the United States – doing the same.
“For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together. That is my concept, but I support civil partnerships,” the Chancellor said, highlighting her own, conservative, views regarding the subject.
“I support us not discriminating against them when it comes to taxes, and to remove any other discrimination wherever we may find it.”
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Mundt then 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.”
On when the German people can expect to see a change, Merkel said that people will “have to endure that for a while.”
“Marriage as a man and a woman living together,” she concluded, to ensure there was no doubt on where she stands on the matter.
So it seems that those wanting Germany to follow in Ireland and America’s recent strides forward in equality may have a while left to wait.