Berlin Pride revellers had even more reason to celebrate this week as President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed legislation that finally legalizes same-sex marriage in Germany. With the president’s signature, the legislation is expected to become the law of the land on October 1. Until now only civil partnerships were available, which lacked certain rights.
The measure had been blocked for a vote in the German parliament for years by the conservative coalition of the government. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made history last month by allowing the measure to come up for a vote, a move that was seen as calculated as she is headed for a tight election this fall. Although conservative Merkel voted against the measure, her permitting the vote was seen as a way of reaching out to younger progressive voters in the country. Her rivals, the center-left party SPD, were hoping to turn marriage equality into a campaign issue.
German Minister of Families, Katarina Barley praised the new law, proclaiming that, “marriage for everyone makes Germany a more modern country.” Justice Minister Heiko Maas tweeted, “A great day for more justice. Finally all get the same rights!”
With marriage equality going into effect October 1, German couples will have the opportunity to celebrate their nuptials AND the tail end of Oktoberfest merriment, which runs September 16 – October 3. Couples have enough time to order their wedding cakes and get fitted in Lagerfeld gowns and tuxedos. “Kunty Karl” would have been couples’ last choice for designer in 2010, when he famously told Vice that he was against same-sex marriage and adoption. By early 2013, he’d changed his tune and sent two female models dressed in identical gowns, down the runway at the finale of his Paris Chanel show.