Germany’s Bundestag has passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a step up from the previously allowed civil unions.
Same-sex couples will now, among other benefits, be able to jointly adopt children.
The vote came after the SDP, FDP, and Green parties all said that same-sex marriage would have to be part of any coalition agreement they would make following the September elections. Any of these parties could form government with incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, who have long opposed the idea of same-sex marriage.
Merkel recently announced that she would allow her party to vote on conscience, leading to the passage of the bill, although Merkel herself voted against it, believing it to be against the Basic Law, or Germany’s constitutional text.
The bill must still pass through the upper house of Germany’s parliament, as well as have its constitutionality tested before it goes into effect. Although it is likely to pass, it may face legal challenges.