“Wedding for all” arrives in Germany
LGBT gathering, June 30, 2017 in Berlin
From Berlin to Frankfurt, Germany celebrates its first homosexual marriages on Sunday to the great satisfaction of gays and lesbians happy to be now in the eyes of the law also couples like the others.
The establishment of marriage for all and the opening of the adoption to homosexuals will have been carried out without any great upheaval, as society and the political class are largely in favor.
“This is a very emotional moment, but also highly symbolic: even if with the civil union we already have rights almost equal, it was still a union of + lower quality,” says Karl Kreile, 59, whose union Sunday morning with Bodo Mende will be the first between two men celebrated in Berlin.
“This change proves that the state now considers us normal couples,” said the fervent activist of the “Marriage for all” who lived “pacsé” with his spouse since 2002.
Sunday may be a day off, several city halls including those in Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt, have decided to celebrate unions as of October 1st, the date of entry into force of the law.
“I am delighted that our city is hosting one of the first homosexual unions for what constitutes a measure of equality beyond abstract debates: it is the happiness of very concrete people with their desires and hopes, their needs, “said Social Democratic Mayor Michael Müller.
“We are pleased that state discrimination against gays and lesbians ends this Sunday,” said Jörg Steinert, head of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Berlin.
However, some cuts still need to be corrected. Due to the problem of updating the software used by the City of Berlin on the administrative forms, a person must always be a “man” and the other a “woman”.
– Adoption also –
The “Marriage for All” Act, passed on June 30, amended the Civil Code by defining marriage as “a union for life between two persons of different or identical sex”. Germany thus became the fifteenth European country to extend marriage to this definition.
Concretely, homosexual couples who wish to seal their union will enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples: in terms of taxes but above all by opening them the possibility of adopting a child.
This legislative evolution is the conclusion of many years of struggle for the LGTB community.
Backed up mainly by the Greens, the German Association of Gays had since 1990 promoted to open marriage to homosexuals.
“We won a round in 2001 with the establishment of a civil union, despite the skepticism of the Protestant Church, which was the first breach in the marriage institution,” Steinert said.
In subsequent years, the tax differentials between civil union and marriage were mitigated.
– Merkel equivocal –
Today, Germans are more than 75% in favor of same-sex marriage, according to the polls.
But it does not make unanimity. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has long dragged her feet on the issue not to rush the most conservative branch of her political family, the Bavarian Christian Social Party CSU, straddling the defense of traditional family values.
The approach of the parliamentary elections of September has precipitated things. To the general surprise in June, Merkel admits that it was necessary to open the debate.
A few days later, the deputies – Vert, SPD, radical left and some conservatives – voted for “marriage for all” on the initiative of left-wing parliamentary groups.
If Merkel voted against it, it did not prevent the vote of the text and left the elected representatives of its camp, depriving the Social Democrats of a promising theme in the middle of the campaign for the legislative elections.
“It was a political calculation, thank you, but it just happened 25 years too late,” said Bodo Mende.