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Germany Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage on The Last Day Of Pride

Today, on the last day of Pride Month, German lawmakers voted to legalize same-sex marriage, after Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested a free vote in parliament on Monday.

The bill passed with 393 votes for and 226 against, with four people abstaining.

This bill, once it is signed off on by the upper chamber and the country’s president, will allow same-sex couples in Germany to marry and adopt children together. Crowds celebrated outside the parliament building when it was announced that the bill was passed.

Read More: 15 Incredible Photos of Pride Celebrations Around the World

Following the vote, Merkel said that she had voted no on passing the bill as she believes that, as it pertains to the law, marriage is between a man and a woman.

"I hope that the vote today shows not only the mutual respect for different opinions but that this also leads to more peace and social cohesion as well," Merkel said.

Even before the vote, it was known that many Germans supported same-sex marriage.

According to a study by Germany's Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, 83% of Germans were in favor of same-sex marriage last year. Another poll by YouGov indicated that 66% of Germans were in favor of same-sex marriage this past May.

Read More: Taiwan Becomes First Place in Asia to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Even though Merkel voted against legalizing same-sex marriage, she is still the reason the law will be passed. Some argue that her vote against will work to secure conservative votes in the upcoming election, while the open vote on the issue will appeal to the more liberal demographic.

Regardless of political motives though, today marks a historic day for the LGBTQ community in Germany. The country will join more than 20 countries that have legalized same-sex marriage.