A huge majority of Germans want Angela Merkel to legalise same-sex marriage
An overwhelming majority of Germans support same-sex marriage, a new survey has found.
The poll, conducted by survey company Emnid for Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag revealed that 75 percent of Germans favour full legal equality for gay people in life partnerships.
Only 20 percent opposed the concept, while 5 percent had no opinion.
This amount of support is higher than it was in the UK the day before same-sex marriage became legal in 2014.
On that day, a poll carried out by the BBC found that 68 percent agreed gay marriage should be permitted, with 26% opposing it.
Though same-sex couples are permitted to enter unions in Germany, the government has ruled out any progress on equal marriage due to a strict coalition agreement.
At present, Germany is governed via a Grand Coalition comprised of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Angela Merkel’s right-wing Christian Democratic Union (CDU), along with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria.
Chancellor Merkel has repeatedly ruled out calls to introduce equal marriage, saying: “For me, marriage is a man and a woman living together.”
But Merkel’s main election rivals are set to publish draft proposals on same-sex marriage.
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) – who are gaining on Merkel’s CDU in the polls ahead of September’s federal elections – are challenging their coalition partners on the issue.
The chancellor candidate for the SPD, Martin Schulz, has called for equality for gay marriage, and the party looks set to make it an election issue.
The party has proposed protection for the status of marriage and family and to extend it to “other forms of cohabitation,” Thomas Oppermann, chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, said last week.
The Greens and Left (Linke) parties also support the idea.
According to The Local, SPD Bundestag leader Thomas Oppermann said: “In the future, marriage should be possible as well for same-sex couples.
“I hope that the CDU and CSU can finally change their spots.”
Germany allows same-sex couples to enter into registered life partnerships that provide some of the benefits of marriage – but the CDU and CSU continues to oppose same-sex marriage.
The issue is likely to be a key dividing line between to the Coalition parties.
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No legislation is likely to pass the Bundestag without the government’s blessing.
Two weeks ago, Germany quashed the convictions of 50,000 men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law, setting up a 30 million euro to compensate those affected.
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Steinmeier is anti-Trump, just like the editor of top German newspaper Die Welt, who earlier this year said Germany should be “more gay” in order to tackle the problems posed by the new US president.