Divided views

Divided views

Debate about "marriage for all" continues © Lino Mirgeler

Marriage for all" remains under discussion – even across denominations. For apparently German Protestants continue to disagree on "marriage for all" despite the approving vote of the EKD council.

In the vote in the Bundestag, "almost all exposed Protestants" voted against the bill, according to an analysis in the "Christ Welt" supplement of "Die Zeit".

Different vote in the Bundestag

In the roll call vote, from the CDU and CSU, in addition to Chancellor Angela Merkel, CDU/CSU parliamentary party leader Volker Kauder, Federal Health Minister Hermann Grohe, who is also a member of the EKD Synod, State Secretary for Education and Research Thomas Rachel, who is a member of the EKD Council, voted against "Marriage for All," as did members of parliament Steffen Bilger, Volkmar Klein, Frank Heinrich, and Elisabeth Motschmann.

Only the EKD synod members Kerstin Griese (SPD) and Katrin Goring-Eckardt (Greens) and the member of parliament Siegmund Ehrmann (SPD) voted for the law. According to the newspaper, this raises the question of "whether the EKD Council still speaks for the Protestant Church".

Importance of marriage not diminished

The EKD Council had said before the vote that it welcomed the opening of marriage to same-sex lovers as well. The importance of marriage between a man and a woman is "in no way diminished" by this. On the question of "shaping a legal framework," however, there are "different understandings in the Protestant regional churches as well as in the worldwide church, which will continue to have their justification".

The conservative German Evangelical Alliance, which is represented on the EKD Council by President Michael Diener, has spoken out against "marriage for all". According to the Alliance, the plan is a "symbolic" abolition of the classical concept of marriage, which the proposers regard as outdated.

Only in three of the 20 regional churches of the EKD is a marriage for same-sex couples possible. Most others provide for the blessing of such couples, usually allowing pastors to refer them to another parish for "reasons of conscience".

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