With her opinion being that “marriage is between a man and woman,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against same-sex marriage allowing her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), to vote with their conscience on the issue.
“For me, marriage in German law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favor of this bill today,” she told journalists after the vote according to The Independent.
“I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace,” she added to reporters.
Despite her vote against the legalization, the law passed with 393 votes to 226.
Merkel has previously said she supported the bill’s introduction of adoption rights for same-sex couples and was fighting anti-LGBT discrimination.
The snap vote was called by the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), part of the coalition government with the CDU/CSU.
The SPD, the Left Party, and Greens already held a majority vote in the Bundestag when the “marriage for all” amendment was called.
According to The Associated Press, SPD politician Johannes Kahrs, who is known for his LGBT campaigning, wasted no time in attacking Merkel, closing his speech with “Frau Merkel, thanks for nothing.”
According to Merkel, the SPD ‘ambushed’ her by pushing the vote forward, a power she gave to them when she freed them from their obligations as a coalition partner.
“It’s sad and completely unnecessary… that such a decision has turned into a political confrontation at the very moment when there was a realistic outlook for a process that could have crossed party lines,” she told the magazine Wirtschaftswoche earlier this week according to Reuters.
“Every member of parliament should be able to follow their conscience.”