German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives an interview bto German women's monthly Brigitte, on the stage at the Maxim Gorki theatre in front of a live audience in Berlin on June 26, 2017. / AFP / TOBIAS SCHWARZ
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dropped her opposition to same-sex marriage, giving gay and lesbian groups reason to cheer Tuesday while depriving opposition parties of a key campaign issue three months before elections.Merkel's shift comes as polls show that large majorities of German voters, and all other mainstream parties, are in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, which has been legalized in many other major Western democracies in recent years.Merkel's about-turn opens the door for her CDU to form potential alliances after the September 24 vote, with either current partners the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens or the Free Democrats (FDP), who all favour gay marriage.Over the past four years, Merkel's coalition government, in which the SPD is the junior partner, had rejected voting on several gay-marriage bills submitted by the upper house, the opposition Greens and the far-left Linke parties.
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