Germany approves "Marriage for all"

The German Bundestag decided in favour of same-sex marriage today, Friday, with the votes of the Social Democrats and the opposition. Chancellor Merkel had lifted the unanimity rule for members of her party. Papers in France speculate on what the next steps will be.

Open/close all quotes
Le Monde (FR) /

Prepare the next step slowly

Another topic to be dealt with in the debate about equal rights for gay couples is artificial insemination, Le Monde points out:

“A symbolic stage in the legislation was reached when gay marriage was legalised in May 2013 and same-sex couples were granted the right to adopt. The demand for access to artificial insemination for homosexual women is an extension of this right. Studies on this subject show that children who grow up in families with gay parents have no specific problems when compared to children from heterosexual families. ... Nevertheless, the proposed development is truly an 'anthropological novelty' whose consequences - especially for the children - must be carefully weighed up.”

Der Tagesspiegel (DE) /

Fewer norms, more normality

Marriage for all could accelerate the overdue paradigm change in family policy, Der Tagespiegel hopes:

“The state presumes to decide which lifestyle models are desirable and which aren't. It uses tax incentives and social benefits to promote those models that suit it. That is not fundamentally wrong, but it must be done for the right reasons. The privileges for male-female married couples, however, are based on ideology. ... The chancellor's going back on her no to marriage for all was long overdue. Now it's time to put the measure through the Bundestag! And on from there! The time has come for a family policy that's no longer based on norms, but on normality.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Merkel-style populism

Lidové noviny explains why of all the problems plaguing Germany at the moment, "marriage for all" is dominating the election campaign:

“It has to do with the fact that the chancellor has yet again changed her position overnight. And that, in turn, has to do with her style of governing. Helmut Kohl was a political visionary, but he was never the most popular in the polls. Merkel is the opposite. ... Her turnaround is a logical move because 83 percent of Germans are in favour of marriage for gays. And with this ploy she's made Martin Schulz the loser of the parliamentary elections even before they start. He'll have a hard time setting himself apart from the chancellor if she steals all the issues on his programme. Now do you understand why Merkel is the big favourite in the polls - and for the elections? Just don't call it populism!”

Mozgástér (HU) /

Gay lobby has society firmly in its clutches

The dilemma in which the CDU and its sister party the CSU find themselves is the result of blackmail pure and simple, Mozgástér is convinced:

“Gay marriage is currently the number one topic in today's Germany. It even keeps normal Germans awake at night. Because let's not forget, it's the masses that are calling for it to be introduced. Without gay marriage Germany can have no future, Europe can have no future! ... Because they are forced to accept a coalition, Germany's 'Christian Democrats' must eat humble pie and give in to the usual blackmail tactics of the left. Of course in such cases the 'demands of society' are always cited. But these demands were created by the gay lobby using the same blackmail tactics, threats and slander. The result? Opponents of gay marriage are branded as homophobes everywhere you look in the Western world.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Betrayal of Christian values

Rzeczpospolita criticises Merkel for paving the way for a vote in the Bundestag:

“This is a bad decision from the perspective of Europe's Christian identity. Because the majority of churches are against same-sex marriage. … The decision is also a bad one from Poland's perspective because it means it will become even more different from the countries of 'old Europe'. On both abortion and on the question of gay marriage our country is far truer to Europe's Christian roots than the states of Western Europe. We should not doubt that this will be used against us. But we mustn't let them convince us that we're worth less because of it. On the contrary, perhaps the time has come to show how proud we are of Christianity and to organise 'Catholic Pride' parades?”