In a free vote, a majority of the Bundestag, the German parliament, has voted today, Friday 30 June, in favour of same-sex marriage.
Until now, German gay and lesbian couples were only allowed to enter into a civil partnership.
In favour of the change in the law were 393 MPs, with 226 against, and four abstentions.
The vote was orchestrated by the Bundestag’s left-wing parties, although Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the bill.
AFP News reported that German law will now state that “marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex.”
Mrs Merkel said that she hoped the passing of the bill would lead to more “social cohesion and peace”.
She had previously stated that she opposed same-sex marriage because of the welfare of children in a marriage, but admitted that she had a “life-changing experience” when visiting a lesbian couple who had raised eight foster children, and backed the free vote only this week.
The law should come into force in Germany by the end of the year.