People celebrate Germany's parliament legalising the same-sex marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Germany's Parliament backed the legalization of same-sex marriage Friday in a historic vote hailed by gay activists and leftist parties but criticized by some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative bloc and by the Catholic Church.Merkel, daughter of a Protestant pastor, voted against the bill.The vote has particular resonance in Germany as it unwinds a legacy of virulent homophobia.Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in a national election on Sept. 24, said she had voted against the bill because she believed that marriage as defined under German law was between a man and a woman.Lawmakers voted by 393 votes in favor of same-sex marriage to 226 against, with four abstentions.At an event hosted by women's magazine "Brigitte" this week Merkel spoke of a "dramatic experience" when she told a lesbian in her home constituency how she had struggled with the idea of same-sex couples adopting children.The SPD then pushed for Friday's vote.
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