Elections

How dinner with a lesbian couple changed Angela Merkel's position on same-sex marriage

How dinner with a lesbian couple changed Angela Merkel's position on same-sex marriage

Chancellor Angela Merkel surprised Germans and her own conservative party just three months before the Sept. 24 election by abruptly signaling her support for same-sex marriage — a major shift for the normally cautious leader.

Even though Germany, generally considered progressive on social issues, was one of the first European countries to legalize same-sex partnerships, in 2001, Merkel’s conservative-led government since 2005 repeatedly refused to consider granting full legal rights for same-sex unions because of staunch opposition from her party’s right wing.

Already leery of Merkel because she eliminated military conscription, which the right cherished, and decided to close...

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