Germany passes marriage equality
July 1, 2017 1:03 AM   Subscribe

 
Congratulations and welcome to the club, Germany!! I am glad that Germany has now joined the list of countries recognizing same sex marriage as a right. However, I am astounded it took this long. Angela Merkel either really is terribly retrograde on this issue, or is pretending to be for the sake of votes. I'm not sure which is worse.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:27 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I'm more astounded when people (usually outside Europe) think Merkel is some sort of bastion for equality because only saw her opposed to trumpypants and farage.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:12 AM on July 1 [14 favorites]


I think it's pretty easy to understand. In the US, most coverage of European politics in focus on big trends (like the rise of nationalist parties) or on the relationship between Europe and the US. You won't hear much about Merkel outside of these contexts unless you deliberately seek out more in-depth reporting on European politics. So Merkel gets interpreted as a "liberal" in the US, because the positions we hear about are "liberal" in the US.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 4:38 AM on July 1 [4 favorites]


So Merkel gets interpreted as a "liberal" in the US, because the positions we hear about are "liberal" in the US.

Being against gay marriage was liberal in the US until a couple of years ago. Both Hillary Clinton and Obama were opposed to it, so I think the comparison still holds.
posted by indubitable at 5:24 AM on July 1


Being against gay marriage was liberal in the US until a couple of years ago. Both Hillary Clinton and Obama were opposed to it, so I think the comparison still holds.

"Were" opposed to it here needs to read as "were (at one point in their careers)" rather than "were (during their career)."

Being against gay marriage was acceptable within liberal spheres is perhaps a better way to phrase it.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:48 AM on July 1 [3 favorites]


I think you mean being against Gay Marriage in political spheres was thought mandatory in order to be electable. I suspect many politicians, including some of the reich wing, could give a fuck.
posted by evilDoug at 6:01 AM on July 1 [6 favorites]


Jawohl!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:38 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


On Friday, German parliament passed a law paving the way for gay marriage. But the language of the country's constitution could lead to a serious legal challenge. It may be too soon to celebrate:

In terms of the German Constitution, Friday's vote is also a daring initiative. Article Six of the Basic Law states that marriage "shall enjoy the special protection of the state" -- and it would be reasonable for one to assume that the drafters of the constitution were not thinking of any other models at the time than marriage between a man and a woman.

In previous rulings, Germany's Constitutional Court has left little doubt that, unless the constitution is amended, same-sex marriage would be unconstitutional. In a series of rulings since 2002, the court has taken incremental steps to bring civil unions closer to equality with marriage. But the justices have repeatedly noted that marriage in the sense of the constitution applied only to "a union between a man and a woman for a long-term life partnership."

The fact that the times have changed does not change this interpretation of the constitution, says former Constitutional Court President Hans-Jürgen Papier. "If people want to open marriage up, then the constitution has to be changed. Simple legislators cannot do so on their own."

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:08 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


You'd think Germany was another country or something, the way German politics doesn't easily map to an American understanding of politics.
posted by hoyland at 9:49 AM on July 1 [11 favorites]


What's weird to me is that while this is the top story in the international edition of Der Spiegel, I can't find it anywhere on the German edition.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:56 AM on July 1


There's video on the German Der Spiegel--I don't understand much German, but this seems to be an overview video, and this is a clip of Johanes Kahrs' speech in parliament to Merkel where he thanks her for nothing. It looks like a great speech and I wish I could understand more of what he said!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:31 AM on July 1 [2 favorites]


What are the politics behind Merkel allowing the vote but voting no?

Now everybody circle round for a nice little request to think twice before calling it "gay marriage." First, you don't have to be LGBT to have a same-sex marriage. I predict that once it is more accepted, straight people will commonly same-sex marry for benefits. Second, "gay" is not a very inclusive term for LGBT people, since it originally was used just for men. Yes, I know that we now pretend it is good for everyone who is queer, just like we pretend that calling everyone "guys" is perfectly fine and not remotely sexist. But it's really not.

So think of all the other cool marriage names you could use! Same-sex marriage. Trans-friendly marriage. Inclusive marriage. Queers-welcome marriage. Anything-that-moves marriage.
posted by medusa at 9:04 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


What are the politics behind Merkel allowing the vote but voting no?

Part of the coalition deal with SPD, who had it as a campaign promise.
As for voting "no", well, CDU is a conservative Christian party.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:46 PM on July 1


this is a clip of Johanes Kahrs' speech in parliament to Merkel where he thanks her for nothing. It looks like a great speech and I wish I could understand more of what he said!

He starts off by saying that the CDU has continually blocked equal rights for gay and lesbian Germans, despite their speeches today, and that he is not going to spare her feelings because she, Merkel, has supported discrimination against them since 2005 (not sure what happened in 2005?) He says that they have earned equality and that he believes equality includes equal access to marriage. He then thanks everyone who has worked for same sex marriage, but thanks Merkel for nothing.
posted by lollusc at 2:35 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Oh, I guess he said 2005 because that's when she was first elected.
posted by lollusc at 2:39 AM on July 2


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