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German parliamentary vice president calls for court to weigh in on legalisation of gay marriage

Joseph McCormick July 3, 2017
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(From L to R) German MPs Johannes Singhammer (CSU), Jens Spahn (CDU), German Health Minister Philipp Roesler, Urike Flach (FDP) and Heinz Lanfermann (FDP) pose for photographers prior to taking part in a press conference at the health ministry in Berlin March 26, 2010. Roesler and members of the health department of the coalition fractions presented the corner points for the long lasting reform of the pharmaceutical market. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The vice president of the German Bundestag has called for a Constitutional court ruling to “clarify” same-sex marriage.

After years of delays, the lower house of the German Parliament gave the green light to same-sex marriage last week in a landslide vote.

And the far-right Alternative für Deutschland party has already said it is planning a legal challenge to the ruling.

Angela Merkel

But the VP of the Bundestag, Johannes Singhammer, of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, the sister of the ruling Christian Democratic Union said on Monday that the Constitional Court should rule on the issue.

He said: “To achieve legal clarity, I recommend to call upon the Constitutional Court [to decide on the issue].”

Going on he suggested that the government should file the legal challenge, rather than an individual citizen.

He said it would be quicker “if the government of a state were to do it, for example, the government of the state of Bavaria.”

The country’s constitution states that marriage “shall enjoy the special protection of the state”.

The document does not set out a specific definition of marriage, but courts have previously held that it referred to “a union between a man and a woman for a long-term life partnership.”

After years of campaigning, things moved swiftly this week with a vote being announced, carried out and successfully passed in a matter of days.

Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her Christian Democratic Union party a free vote in the proposal put forward by the Social Democrats – though Mrs Merkel herself voted against the legislation.

She recently revealed that meeting a lesbian couple who had eight foster children together changed her mind on whether or not a free vote should be allowed on the matter.

The quick movement towards the snap vote comes ahead of a general election in Germany on September 24.

Significant parties the Greens, Linke, and Free Democrats all vocally backed same-sex marriage and said they would not enter into a coalition government unless the law was changed.

Related topics: equal marriage, Europe, gay marriage, Germany, Germany, same sex marriage

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