Germany legalizes same-sex marriage
BERLIN — Germany’s president has signed legislation legalizing gay marriage, his office said Friday, paving the way for the bill to take effect this fall.
Lawmakers approved the bill June 30 in Parliament’s last session before Germany’s September election. The move became possible after Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservative party had long been reluctant to budge on the issue, said she would allow its lawmakers to vote according to their conscience.
The presidential office said President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the legislation Thursday. That means it will come into force Oct. 1 at the earliest.
Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001 but until now has not granted them full marital rights, such as the possibility of jointly adopting children.