All of Germany’s six Muslim members of parliament voted in support of same-sex marriage, whilst Chancellor Angela Merkel opposed the bill stating that “marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Despite the Chancellor Merkel’s opposition, the landmark “marriage for all” bill was approved with 393-226 votes in the Bundestag last Friday.
The Green Party have since confirmed that the party’s four Muslim parliamentarians – Cem Özdemir, Özcan Mutlu, Ekin Deligöz and Omid Nouripour – all voted in favour of the bill.
Aydan Özoğuz, a Muslim MP for the Social Democratic Party, also voted in favour of the legislation after his party criticised Chancellor Merkel for “embarrassing” delays to the controversial law.
Chancellor Merkel has remained consistent with her opposition to same-sex marriage, but her party’s first Muslim MP, Cemile Giousouf, was praised on social media for supporting the historic bill.
Only three parliamentarians are listed as being Muslim on the Bundestag website, but German newspaper Welt confirmed with all political parties that six lawmakers identify as Muslim.
Chancellor Merkel said straight after the vote: “I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace.”
Explaining her opposition to the bill, Chancellor Merkel referred back to German law, her personal values as an evangelical Christian, and those of her political party, which describes its foundations as the “Christian understanding between people and their accountability before God”.
Since 2011, Germany has permitted same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships but same-sex marriages were prohibited.
The draft bill legalising same-sex marriage was first moved in 2015 in the upper house of parliament by the state of Rhineland Palatinate.
It is expected to be signed into law by the President after this Friday but could face legal opposition.