World

Germany's Merkel doesn't tweet, but checks Trump on Twitter

Germany's Merkel doesn't tweet, but checks Trump on Twitter

Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-left rivals said Tuesday they would seek a parliamentary vote this week on legalizing gay marriage after the German leader backed off her conservatives' long-standing refusal to budge on the issue. The SPD, pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens have made gay marriage - a step-up from same-sex civil partnerships which have been allowed since 2001, a condition for a tie-up.

Merkel's comment sparked a flurry of reactions on social media overnight, with the #EheFuerAlle (MarriageForAll) hashtag trending on Twitter, and the news dominated morning radio and TV bulletins.

"After 15 years of an ideological blockade. social pressure and the commitments of other parties have made an impact", said LSVD spokesman Axel Hochrein.

"About 80 percent of the people in Germany are in favor and she's willing to take on a few hardline conservatives within her own ranks", Jaeger said.

Merkel looks to capture the votes of young Germans with more liberal values, as well as those of the traditional CSU party, both of which she needs in order to win the September election.

Voter desertion With that, she flung open the door to marriage equality in Germany without revealing where she stood.

She said her thinking had changed after a "memorable experience" when she recently met a lesbian couple who lovingly care for eight foster children in her Baltic coast constituency.




"I would like to steer the discussion more towards the situation that it will be a question of conscience instead of me forcing something through by means of a majority vote", Merkel said. The SPD strongly backs same-sex marriage, but conservative views within Merkel's party have blocked progress.

CDU lawmaker Stefan Kaufmann tweeted: "Thank you, Angela Merkel!".

Merkel's move was welcomed by politicians across the country, including several from within the CDU.

Despite the widening lead, Merkel's CDU/CSU is far short of a majority and might have a hard time finding a junior coalition partner.

Merkel also noted her evolution on gay and lesbian couples having the legal right to adopt children.

Berlin cannot rely on an "erratic" Donald Trump, and it remains unknown whether it can rely on the United States as a whole, German chancellor candidate Martin Schulz has stated.

Ahead of September's federal elections, however, the SPD has signalled that it will make clear demands on the issue as part of any future coalition deal.


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