German High Court Rejects Parliamentary Vote on Same-sex Marriage

Governing coalition is divided on the issue and the lower house’s legal affairs committee has repeatedly deferred an official vote.

Germany’s highest court has rejected an opposition party’s attempt to force a parliamentary vote on same-same marriage.

The country has recognised civil partnerships for same-sex couples since 2001. While other countries have taken the next step and allowed same-sex marriage and most of Germany’s political parties are in favour of it, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc remains reluctant.

René Mertens, representative for the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany, told Gay Star News: ‘The decision of the Federal Constitutional Court is disappointing. Karlsruhe has missed a chance to protect the rights of Lesbians and Gays and open marriage for same-sex couples,’

‘Now it’s important that the German Parliament prepares the way for full marriage equality in Germany. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has to stop blocking marriage for all and, they have to start preparing the way for marriage of same-sex couples.’ He said.

The Christian Democratic Union is one of the political parties currently part of the Grand Coalition that governs Germany. Also involved are the centre-left party Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria.

Parliament’s upper house, the Greens and Left Party have proposed legislation legalizing same-same marriage. The coalition government is divided on the issue and the lower house’s legal affairs committee has repeatedly deferred an official vote.

The Federal Constitutional Court said Tuesday it had rejected the Greens’ application for an injunction ordering the committee to send the bills to lawmakers for a vote in parliament’s last pre-election session June 30.

Mertens fully believes that Germany is ready for same-sex marriage. ‘A study conducted by the German Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency has recently shown that 83 percent of the respondents are supporting marriage equality in Germany,’ He explains.

‘Also the majority of the Bundestag is supporting same-sex marriage, a free vote in Parliament on marriage for all would bring equal rights but the coalition parties stick to coalition discipline and do not want to facilitate a free vote on the issue.’

‘We think that German Government should do what 14 European states have done before in the last years– open marriage for all people, regardless if they are heterosexual, lesbian or gay – at least after the elections in September,’ Mertens added.