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Germany celebrated its first same-sex weddings Sunday after a new law came into force putting gay and lesbian couples on an equal legal footing with heterosexual couples. Town halls in Berlin, Hamburg and elsewhere opened their doors to mark the event, made possible by a surprise vote in Parliament three months earlier.
Holland said it was appropriate for Schoeneberg to hold the first same-sex wedding in the country because it has long been a center of gay life in the German capital. Germany introduced registered partnerships in , but those gave same-sex couples fewer rights than heterosexual couples who married.
Chancellor Angela Merkel long opposed same-sex marriages, only agreeing to a free vote in Parliament on the matter in June, shortly before national elections. The bill, which enjoyed strong public support, passed by a wide margin, with lawmakers voting in favor of marriage equality and — including Merkel — voting against.
According to official figures, there were about 43, registered partnerships in Germany in , most of which are expected to be converted into marriages in the coming months. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. More From the Los Angeles Times. Syrian insurgents withdraw from key town as government forces push in.
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