German lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage in their last session before the September election.

Lawmakers voted 393 for legalizing “marriage for everybody,” and 226 against with four abstentions. 

 

The measure brought to a vote in Friday’s session was fast-tracked after Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday lawmakers could take up the issue as a “question of conscience,” freeing members of her conservative coalition, which has been against same-sex marriage, to individually vote for the measure.

 

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but same-sex marriages remained illegal.

 

All of Merkel’s potential coalition partners after the Sept. 4 election, including the center-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized. 

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