German president lauds Irish vote but won’t introduce gay ‘marriage’
BERLIN, Germany, May 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- As same-sex "marriage" advocates laud the demise in Ireland of the meaning of marriage as the life-long union of a man and a woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government is not going to play follow-the-leader.
"Today was an important milestone in dismantling discrimination and the chancellor is pleased about that," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told Reuters, "but same-sex marriages are not a goal of this government."
"Every country makes its own laws - some countries go one route while others go another," Seibert observed when asked about the result of the Irish referendum. "In Germany we'll take a path that suits Germany."
Some members of Merkel's own party, the ruling center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), didn't like their leader's statement.
"You would think what the Irish Catholics can do, we could do, too," Jens Spahn, an openly homosexual CDU member told Die Welt.
On the other hand, CDU politician Thomas Strobl defended Merkel's position, pointing out that in late 2013, the parties forming the coalition government (the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats) had agreed not to address the issue during their five-year term in office.
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"It's clear that [Ireland's referendum] will have an effect on our debates and discussions in Germany, rightly so," Strobl told public broadcaster SWR.
He stressed that while "it is a remarkable decision that was made in Ireland," the government should "stick to the  agreement" and follow its own course because, "If we make everything the same, then marriage won't be special anymore."
In 2001 Germany allowed homosexuals to register civil partnerships, which gave same-sex couples many of the benefits and obligations of a legally recognized marriage.
However, in 2012, the majority CDU voted against a proposal to change joint tax filing laws for married couples to include the same tax break for homosexual partners.
Chancellor Merkel said of the proposed changes at the time, "I think it is correct for us to have provided the same rights in some areas to registered homosexual partnerships as marriage, like in inheritance taxes or in public services law." But she stressed that, "I personally want to preserve the privileged tax position of marriages because our constitution envisions marriage and family as being directly related and both are placed under the special protection of the institutional framework."