German parliament says yes to same-sex marriage

BERLIN — Germany’s federal parliament, or Bundestag, on Friday passed the bill legalizing same-sex marriage.

According to the bill, homosexual couples in Germany will now be able to marry and adopt children.

Germany currently allows civil partnerships, but not full marital rights, which would include the possibility to jointly adopting children.

The bill passed by 393 to 226, with four abstentions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the bill, although she paved the way for the vote.

Merkel on Monday unexpectedly swerved from her party’s official line to oppose same-sex marriage on the grounds of child welfare. Instead she said she could envision a “decision of conscience,” granting parliamentarians a free vote on the sensitive matter.