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German chancellor Angela Merkel, on June 26, said she would allow parliamentarians to vote their own , on the next day, asked for voting before the election in September."I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between the different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace", Merkel said.Prostitution has long been legal in Germany, and the country has been called "Europe's biggest brothel".But forced prostitution continues to be an issue as well. Ms Merkel said though she voted against legalising gay marriage, she hoped Parliament's approval of the measure would lead to more social cohesion."For me, marriage in the basic law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favour of this bill today," she said.Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but same-sex marriages had remained illegal.Lawmakers voted 393-226 to legalize “marriage for everybody,” with four abstentions.Underlining the delicate political tightrope that Merkel walked, the “no” votes came entirely from her conservative bloc, although some prominent party members, including Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her chief of staff Peter Altmaier, voted for it.
The move freed members of her conservative coalition to individually vote for it rather than follow party lines.She voted against same-sex marriage, she told the media, explaining she believed the German constitutional definition of marriage required a man and a woman. Thus, there is , and hoisted the rainbow-coloured flag — a symbol of the LGBT community.Civil partnership has been legal in Germany since 2001, but this bill awaits the president's signature to enter the lawbooks.The move brings Germany into line with many other European nations including France, Britain and Spain, and follows Ms Merkel's surprise decision this week to allow her politicians to follow their own conscience rather than the party line on the issue.Ms Merkel, who has long opposed same-sex marriage — citing concerns over the welfare of children — voted against the bill.