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Germany same-sex marriage

Germany legalized same-sex marriage in historic vote. Merkel paved the way, but voted against it.

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German lawmakers voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage after a short but emotional debate, bringing the country in line with many of its Western peers.

Lawmakers voted 393 for legalizing "marriage for everybody" and 226 against, with four abstentions.

People took to social media to celebrate the news, using hashtags like #LoveWins and #LoveIsLove.

The new law won't take effect for several months because it still needs to pass the upper house of Parliament and be approved by the president, but that hasn't stopped people's excitement for the near future.

Though Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the measure, she paved the way for its passage by freeing other members of her party to vote their "conscience." However, some were still disappointed that Merkel voted no.

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but has not granted them full marital rights, which include the possibility to jointly adopt children. It now joins 22 other countries to pass a vote in support of marriage equality.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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