A huge majority of Germans support same-sex marriage, a new poll has revealed.
The poll, conducted for German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag, revealed that 75% of Germans favour full legal equality for gay people in life partnerships.
Only 20% of those surveyed opposed same-sex marriage, while 5% had no opinion on the matter.
This is a higher level of support than it was in the UK the day before same-sex marriage became legal in 2014 – a poll carried out by the BBC found that 68% supported marriage equality, while 26% opposed it.
Germany has had civil partnerships for same-sex couples since 2001, however it remains one of the only countries in Western Europe where gays and lesbians cannot legally wed.
In Germany, those in civil partnerships have gained many of the same benefits as married couples but they do not have full marriage rights, such as being able to adopt children together.
The country is governed by a Grand Coalition comprised of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), Angela Merkel’s right-wing Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria.
All parliamentary parties except the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union support marriage equality.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly dismissed calls to introduce equal marriage – in an interview with German YouTube star LeFloid, Merkel said: “For me, marriage is a man and a woman living together.”
However, Merkel’s biggest election rivals – the Social Democratic Party – are set to publish draft proposals to fight for marriage equality in the country.
Thomas Oppermann is the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag.
According to The Local, Oppermann said: “I hope that the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union can finally change their spots.
“Marriage should not be based on gender identity, but rather should only be about whether the partners want to be bonded together permanently, and take responsibility for one another.”
A similar study by Germany’s Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency in January found that 83% of Germans supported legal equality for same-sex marriage, and last October research from Berlin’s Dalia Research company revealed that Germany has the largest LGBT+ population in Europe.
Thirteen European countries currently recognise and perform same-sex marriages – Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Britain.
Words Laura Mullan