Germany: Merkel’s challenger calls for vote on gay marriage | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Germany: Merkel’s challenger calls for vote on gay marriage

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s election challenger is calling for a vote on legalising gay marriage.

world Updated: Jun 27, 2017 15:17 IST
Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001.
Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001.(AP File Photo)

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s election challenger is calling for a vote on legalising gay marriage after the German leader ditched her conservatives’ long-standing refusal to budge on the issue.

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001. Other European countries have since allowed full gay marriage and most parties support it, but Merkel’s conservative bloc remained reluctant until now.

On Monday, however, Merkel said she could see lawmakers taking up the issue as a “question of conscience,” deciding in a free vote rather than along party lines.

Martin Schulz, Merkel’s challenger in Germany’s Sept. 24 election, vowed Tuesday to hold a vote but didn’t specify when.

The conservatives’ chief whip, Michael Grosse-Broemer, said he opposes deciding quickly before the election. The outgoing parliament’s last session is this week.