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The German Parliament made a historic decision this Friday; German gay couples are as of today able to get married. The Bundestag passed the bill with a large majority, 393 yays vs 226 nays, and four abstentions.

That the decision came so quickly was quite the surprise. Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic CDU-CSU have always been against gay marriage, but last Monday Merkel said she thought it was more a matter of conscience, and that she wasn’t against a free vote in parliament. Merkel did not say she was in favour of gay marriage, but that did not influence the vote in any way.

Left wing parties like the SPD, the Greens and The Left Party, Merkel’s coalition partners, voted in favour as predicted, and together they form a minor majority in parliament. Also within Merkel’s party, there were pro voters, except for CDU-CSU’s conservative wing. According to Der Spiegel, 70 CDU-CSU members voted in favour, almost 25 percent. Merkel herself voted against.

“What we decide today is perhaps not good for the coalition, but it is good for the people,” said Thomas Oppermann, the Social Democrat leader in parliament, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Germany is one of the last Western-European countries to instate gay marriage. Still, some conservatives are considering an attempt to block the outcome at the Constitutional Court, for they believe gay marriage is against the law.