Image by A (Aleph) / Creative Commons
The government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced intentions to improve the country's civil partnership laws yesterday, but stressed that marriage is "not a goal."
The statement was precipitated by mounting pressure within Germany to extend full marriage equality following Ireland's landmark referendum last week. With the recent addition of Ireland and Greenland, all major Atlantic lying European nations have now legalized same-sex marriage, making Germany and Switzerland the new frontier.
Despite popular support for change in the country, Merkel's spokesperson, Steffan Seibert, stated that same-sex marriage wasn't a priority:
"Today was an important milestone in dismantling discrimination and the chancellor is pleased about that. But same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government."
He then added:
"Every country makes its own laws -- some countries go one route while others go another."
According to polls, more than 75% of Germans support marriage equality. Civil partnerships were inttroduced in 2001, and despite calls from the Social-Democrats and Green party to legalize marriage, the move has been resisted. The Social-Democrat Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, has blamed the conservative factions within Merkel's Christian coaltion government for the stagnation.