Germany’s Parliament has approved same-sex marriage by a wide margin. The new law will take effect after the President signs it, perhaps in a week.
There are a couple things that brought about the vote. First, there is a parliamentary election in September. Three junior parties said they would join a government coalition only if same-sex marriage was or would be approved.
Second, Prime Minister Angela Merkel has been struggling with the idea of same-sex marriage. She had gotten to the point of realizing same-sex couple needed to be able to adopt children. She mentioned this to a lesbian. That lesbian invited Merkel to visit her home to meet her partner and their eight foster children. Merkel saw the kids were doing just fine.
Though Merkel still voted against the marriage bill, she did tell members of her party they were not required to vote the party position, but instead could vote their conscience. After that passage was pretty quick.