BERLIN: German MPs are expected to vote to legalise same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to the idea.
The reform would give gay men and lesbians full marital rights, and allow them to adopt children. At present, German same-sex couples are limited to civil unions.
On Monday Mrs Merkel, who previously opposed a vote on gay marriage, said she would allow MPs from her CDU party to “follow their conscience”.
During her 2013 election campaign, Angela Merkel argued against gay marriage on the grounds of “children’s welfare,” and admitted that she had a “hard time” with the issue.
A recent survey by the government’s anti-discrimination agency found that 83% of Germans are in favour of marriage equality.
Germans go to the polls on 24 September, and the sudden Merkel turnaround will deprive her opponents of a campaign issue.