Here's A Look Back At Three Decades Of Struggle For German Marriage Equality

Marriage equality finally came to Germany after decades of struggle on Friday.

In a historic step, Germany's parliament overwhelmingly voted on Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, granting full marital rights to gay and lesbian couples and clearing the path for them to adopt children.

Start of the 1980s

End of the 1980s


Summer 1991

August 19, 1992

May 14, 1997

September 27, 1998

August 24, 1999

November 10, 2000

April 1, 2001

August 1, 2001

The German Civil Partnerships Act enters into force. A few months earlier, Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia had filed constitutional complaints. Using an urgent motion, they had wanted to prevent the Civil Partnerships Act entering into force on August 1st, but their appeal failed in the Federal Constitutional Court. This gave the green light on July 18th, 2001, for the Civil Partnerships Act to enter into force about two weeks later.

January 1, 2005

The Act for the Revision of the Civil Partnerships Act enters into force. This removes, among other things, the differences between civil partnerships and marriage in civil law, permits the adoption of the partner's biological children and puts civil partners on an equal footing with spouses in regard to the statutory pension for surviving dependents.

July 7, 2009


Ten years after the introduction of the Civil Partnerships Act, Baden-Württemberg, a southwestern state bordering France and Switzerland, becomes the last federal state to decide that civil partnerships can be entered into at registry offices.


The Constitutional Court rules in favor of the equal treatment of civil partnerships in regard to land transfer taxation and family allowances.

February 2013

March 22, 2013

June 6, 2013

September 9, 2013

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During an election discussion on ARD, Angela Merkel said she had doubts about full adoption rights for same-sex couples. "To be quite honest, I find total equality problematic (...) I'm unsure where the best interests of a child are concerned," she said.

January 12, 2017

Die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung ist für die #Ehefüralle. Für eine sofortige Abstimmung ohne Fraktionszwang im Deutsche…

According to a survey conducted by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, 83% of citizens are in favor of marriage equality.

June 17, 2017

Bundestagswahl: Grüne machen #Ehefüralle zur Koalitionsbedingung

At their party conference, the Greens make marriage equality a condition for coalition in the upcoming elections.

June 24, 2017

June 25, 2017

Wir werden die Ehe für alle beschließen. Diese Woche.

At the SPD's party conference, its candidate for the Chancellorship Martin Schulz promises he won't sign any coalition agreement which doesn't incorporate marriage equality.

June 26, 2017

June 27, 2017

Angela Merkel hat für die von der SPD verlangte Abstimmung über die #Ehefüralle den Fraktionszwang in der Union aufgehoben.

The CDU and CSU remove the compulsory unanimity in voting. The members of parliament can decide as individuals how they will vote.

June 28, 2017

+++ Breaking +++ Ja zur Ehe für Alle im Rechtsausschuss des Bundestages.

The German parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs recommends by majority that marriage should be opened up for same-sex couples.

June 30, 2017

Bundestag stimmt mit Ja: Homosexuelle Paare dürfen bald auch in Deutschland heiraten. #EheFuerAlle

The Federal Parliament votes to legalize marriage equality. Once German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signs the bill into law later this year, same-sex couples in Germany will be officially allowed to marry.

This post was translated from German.

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