German chancellor Angela Merkel is frequently cited by angry liberals as the new “leader of the free world” after President Trump’s—but they’re not going to like her latest stance on gay marriage.
On Friday, Merkel voted in Parliament against a law that would legalize same-sex marriage in Germany.
“To me, marriage as defined in the German basic law means the marriage between husband and wife,” she explained, in an interview following the vote.
Merkel’s vote ultimately didn’t matter: Parliament passed gay marriage by a landslide, 393 votes to 226.
Merkel’s decision to welcome large numbers of Middle Eastern refugees has earned her the praise of liberals—and the scorn of conservatives—in recent years. But despite her stance on immigration, Merkel is a conservative—heading the center-right, socially-conservative Christian Democratic Union party. As an East German, her political career began shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall—in strong rebuke of communism.
The Christian Democratic Union, in their platform, opposes gay marriage—but, despite personally voting no, Merkel told members of her party to vote their conscience, rather than the party line.
Despite Merkel remaining opposed to gay marriage, she has admitted that her positions have moderated on other gay issues, including adoption by gay couples.