All eyes are on Germany to be the next nation to make marriage equality history. Marriage equality is legal in 22 countries in most of the corners of the earth, including Argentina, South Africa and the United States. One place where it is missing is Germany, the center of Europe. Members of the junior governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) are moving forward with plans to rectify the lack of same-sex marriage in their country by calling on other parties, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), to change the current law to grant same-sex couples the right to get married. Civil unions can be obtained in Germany, but we all know that is not the same.
Is there a danger of a politician in supporting Marriage Equaloity in Germany? Current reports are that 83 percent of Germans support the equality that the LGBT community desires.
"A large majority of German society is ready for gay marriage," Markus Gutfleisch, the spokesman for the LGBTQ ecumenical group HUK, told DW. "It's just a small minority that's defiantly holding on to old legal constructs."
Gutfleisch said he was disappointed that Germany, which is considered a role model on many other social justice issues, is lagging behind several nations when it comes to same-sex marriage.
Finland is the most recent country to legalize marriage equality. Other European nations that allow homosexual couples to get married include Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Even deeply Catholic Ireland joined the ranks after a nationwide referendum returned a landslide victory in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015. – dw.com
So the Germans are ready, but what about the conservative parties? With 83% desiring the change, would conservatives be leaving most of their constiuents behind if they focused on the 17% that did not approve? When you put it like that, 17% do not approve, who would fight against those odds?
Stefan Kaufmann, also a gay CDU deputy, said in a 2016 Bundestag speech that he wanted his party to be more open. He also explained, however, that marriage equality was difficult for some representatives of the CDU.
"Redefining what marriage means is harder for a party like ours, which carries the 'C' in its name, than it is for strictly atheist parties," Kaufmann said, referring to the word "Christian."
To Gutfleisch, Christianity and marriage equality aren't at odds with each other. He believes that the issue shouldn't be painted as a zero-sum game in which extending rights to all people somehow put other people at a disadvantage.
"A marriage stands for authentic values – no matter the sexual orientation," Gutfleisch said. "Legalizing gay marriage will take nothing away from couples living in heterosexual marriages." – dw.com
The writing is on the wall for Germany, now it just needs to get into the law books.