Despite pressure from opposition parties, the German government has ruled out legalising same-sex marriage.
After the success of Ireland’s same-sex marriage vote, Germany’s Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt said on Sunday: “It’s time Mrs. Merkel. The Merkel faction cannot just sit out the debate on marriage for all…I am confident that the Irish vote will accelerate equality in Germany.”
However Chancellor Merkel’s spokesperson said that marriage equality is not the goal of the government.
“Today was an important milestone in dismantling discrimination and the chancellor is pleased about that… but same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government,” the Chancellor’s spokesperson told Reuters.
“Every country makes its own laws – some countries go one route while others go another. In Germany we’ll take a path that suits Germany.”
Germany remains one of the few Western Europe countries gay marriage is not legal, joined by Austria, Northern Ireland and Switzerland.
The government’s decision flies in the face of polls, where 75 percent of German voters have been shown to support same-sex marriage.
Thomas Jaeger of Cologne University said: “This government isn’t capable of spontaneous reforms and is unable to move with the times.
“These are two big parties in the way of each other that don’t have the courage to tackle anything not agreed on in advance in their coalition agreement.”
Heiko Maas, the SPD (Social democratic Party) justice minister told Reuters that “unfortunately [extending same-sex marriage] wasn’t possible with the conservatives.”
Germany’s centre-right CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) are governing in a coalition government with the centre-left SPD.
In other news, Greenland confirmed yesterday it will change the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.