Same-sex marriage arrives in Germany

The first same-sex marriages in Germany took place today.

It comes fifteen years after civil partnerships were introduced there: as we have seen, while same-sex marriage is likely to prove more popular, there may still be demand for both, and in the UK many mixed-sex couples would like civil partnerships to be an option for them too.  Some 88,000 or so people are in civil partnerships in Germany.

The clear vote (339 to 226) by parliamentarians earlier this summer ended four years of avoiding the issue after the 2013 elections produced a clear majority in favour of the reform but pressure from the CDU/CSU (equivalent to our Conservatives) on their SPD (Labour) coalition partners not to press forward on the issue.

Germany becomes the fifteenth country in Europe to recognise same-sex marriage, and the thirteenth in the 28-nation EU.