Same-sex marriages in the Federal Republic of Germany are decided to be legalized. This decision of the Bundestag responds to a request from voters, 83 percent of whom support such an extension of the rights of sex minorities. But the most interesting thing is why right now the party of Angela Merkel decided to support this bill, although before that she always rejected him.
The German Bundestag voted on Friday by a majority vote to approve the law on the legalization of same-sex marriages. The bill was approved by far not the absolute majority - 393 parliamentarian. Against 226, and four abstained.
This bill was promoted by the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in conjunction with the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP). LGBT activists and the human rights community in the West have positively met the decision of the German parliament and consider it a serious achievement.
At the same time, in a number of Western media, the German initiative saw a serious political game - and, according to experts, it is led by conservative Christian democrats, the party of Angels Merkel.
The publication of EUobserver called the decision of the Bundestag "the result of political machinations." And "in the heart of this card house" is Merkel, according to the European edition. In his opinion, this move is nothing more than part of the pre-election preparation of Merkel and the creation of convenient conditions for possible coalitions.
Is Merkel still loyal to her position?
Germany was one of the first countries in the European Union to approve the so-called civil partnership for same-sex couples in 2001 (without the possibility of entering into an official marriage). From that moment, LGBT activists actively lobbied for the next step - the legalization of marriages for homosexuals. However, all these efforts were blocked by the ruling party bloc of the CDU / CSU ("Christian Democratic Union" and "Christian Social Union"), headed by Angela Merkel.
The Chancellor of Germany has always positioned herself as a consistent opponent of same-sex marriage (although she recognized the rights of LGBT people). Before the current parliamentary vote, she said: "For me, marriage, as defined by law, is a marriage between a man and a woman." And voted against it.
At first glance, Merkel remained true to her line, but in fact her principledness was not so unambiguous.
First, this time she allowed the bill before the vote - something that did not happen before. Secondly, she urged parliamentarians from the CDU / CSU not to observe party discipline, but to vote in the way they themselves think is necessary. "Political" was observed: the conservative wing of the party Merkel voted against, the liberal part - for. It was thanks to the "permission to vote as you want" that the law was finally adopted.
Merkel herself explained this by saying that her views have undergone some changes after getting to know one lesbian couple raising eight children, and therefore she called on her fellow party members to vote "according to their conscience."
Most Germans were opposed to healthy conservatism
Angela Merkel drew attention to the mood of society, because, according to public opinion polls, 83 percent of Germans support the legalization of same-sex marriages. German political scientist Alexander Rahr told VZGLYAD that the policy of liberal values is gaining more and more momentum in Germany, although it "happens quite an artificial way." "Healthy conservatism is increasingly becoming a minority position in politics and in elites," the source said.
The interlocutor remarked that he does not support this law, although he does not oppose gays and lesbians and believes that this is their free choice to live together. "The society should keep in mind the protection of the values of the family, Christian values - the concepts on which civilization was built for centuries," he explained his position.
In turn, the expert of the Berlin Friedrich Naumann Foundation (ideologically close to the liberal FDP) Sasha Tamm told the newspaper VZGLYAD that he had nothing against the law itself. However, he does not like that this is used as an instrument of domestic policy, and for the sake of this, the whole political party - CDU / CSU - sharply changes its opinion.
Behind the actions of the Chancellor of Germany lies a sober political calculation
Such adherence to social tendencies arose for a reason. Elections in Germany are to be held on 24 September this year, and Merkel's position this time is not as strong as in past polls. As Sasha Tamm said, the CDU / CSU now enjoys approximately 39 percent of the population's support, while the SPD - 25 percent, and the "Greens" - eight.
In addition to trends in the social consciousness, Merkel took into account another point. All potential coalition partners - the SPD, the FDP, and the Greens - called the adoption of this law an ultimatum for the possible creation of a coalition.
Alexander Rahr believes that it was the opposition that caused the Chancellor of Germany to take such a step by its actions. "The driving force was not Mrs. Merkel, but rather her competitor - Martin Schulz from the SPD who is looking for some topics on which he can catch up again points, get the support of the population," the source said. Schultz's rating falls catastrophically, and Merkel is growing, because the head of the Social Democrats decided to use the theme of gay marriage to strike the leader of the CDU / CSU, he said.
At the same time, Sasha Tamm, on the contrary, is confident that this is the tactics of Angela Merkel herself. The Chancellor does not want "during the campaign" Greens "and the SPD to play on this topic," the political scientist believes. In his opinion, in this way, Merkel tries to dislodge the convenient instrument from the hands of her opponents in order to prevent the victory of the opposition.
Indeed, the legalization of same-sex marriages may allow Merkel to enlist additional support from the electorate and even to lure some of the votes from one of the main lobbyists of this topic - the SPD. But the Chancellor herself expects that her image will not suffer much in the eyes of the traditional conservative supporters of the CDU / CSU opposing this law. "She voted again against - it will cause great sympathy among those who oppose this law and they will continue to vote for the CDU", - said Rahr. In addition, Merkel opened the way for her party to create a coalition government in the event that such a need arises.
Thus, Merkel seriously strengthened her chances for the fourth term as chancellor. Tamm believes that Merkel's tactics will work and she will be able to win in the next election.
The course of Merkel is not as safe as it seems at first glance
But there is another side of the coin in this story. Three-quarters of the deputies from the CDU voted against the bill. This means that most of her comrades do not approve of the combination of Merkel. Accordingly, the Chancellor runs the risk of facing serious criticism from his own party members, as well as provoking internal contradictions in the bloc.
Another nuance is that, contrary to Merkel's expectations, the conservative electorate could not help but notice the duality in its position. Accordingly, the chancellor will lose some of his votes. And they will go, with a high probability, not to someone, but to right-wing radicals, for example to the "Alternative for Germany", for which this law became a pre-election gift. They have already begun to mobilize the protest moods of supporters of traditional values to increase their support.
Even more interesting, even the side that remained in the win - the LGBT community and the sympathizers - took Merkel's move somewhat unambiguously. "The way in which it was adopted is similar to the act of mercy from heterosexuals instead of the human rights that each of us possesses," said LGBT activist and European MP from Green Party Terry Reintke. She stressed that human rights can not be treated in this way, and she pointed out that there is no guarantee that the law that was so suddenly adopted can not be quickly abolished either.