Federal Council © Bernd von Jutrczenka
Now it's the Bundesrat's turn: this Friday, in its last session before the summer break, it will take a final look at "marriage for all". This would have passed another hurdle. Approval is considered certain.
If the state chamber approves the opening of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, the law still has to be signed by the Federal President before it can come into force.
Abstention from NRW?
North Rhine-Westphalia apparently wants to abstain from the vote, according to sources in the CDU/FDP coalition. Apparently, the coalition partners had agreed on Tuesday at a cabinet meeting in Munster to abstain from voting, because they hold different positions on "marriage for all".
It would still be possible to refer the matter to the mediation committee in the Bundesrat. However, the Bavarian state government, which is critical of "marriage for all," announced that it would refrain from taking such a step. Instead, he said, a lawsuit before the Federal Prosecution Court is being considered. However, this will be done "very carefully and without time prere," emphasized Marcel Huber (CSU), head of the State Chancellery.
In a guest article for the "Welt" (Friday), Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) reiterates his recent and repeatedly expressed catch, according to which there is no contradiction between the "marriage for all" and the constitutional requirement of the protection of marriage. "The concept of marriage is open to development. Because it has changed and marriage is now the permanent cohabitation of two people of any sex, we do not need an amendment to the Basic Law," Maas said.
Criticism from church circles
The Berlin Catholic auxiliary bishop Matthias Heinrich, on the other hand, renewed the Church's criticism of the introduction of a "marriage for all". The resolution passed by the Bundestag a week ago is a "sham," Heinrich writes in a guest article for the tabloid B.Z.". The concept of marriage had been "unceremoniously reinterpreted".
The authors of the Basic Law "clearly meant the long-term partnership of a man and a woman" by marriage and family, emphasizes the auxiliary bishop. Catholic Church also sticks to this understanding for good reasons, he said. Heinrich rejected the accusation that this would discriminate against homosexuals. It is rather "about clarity in the terms and about honesty".