'My brother can finally marry his boyfriend'

People wrapped in gay pride flag at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany Image copyright AFP

Many social media timelines are full of rainbow colours today as Twitter users celebrate Germany's decision to legalise same-sex marriage.

The bill won a clear majority after Chancellor Angela Merkel - who argued marriage was between a man and a woman - dropped her opposition to allow German members of parliament to vote.

As the vote was taking place German MPs tweeted pictures of their coloured voting cards, with blue to indicate a yes, a red for no, and white to abstain.

Image copyright @petertauber/Twitter
Image caption MP Peter Tauber posted a picture of his yes voting card along with the words: "Yes"

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Image copyright @kaiwegner/Twitter
Image caption Politician Kai Wegner was one of 393 lawmakers, 226 voted against and four abstained.

Marriage for all

There were firecrackers in parliament when the decision was announced, as the MPs who had voted for the bill hugged and congratulated each other.

On social media, supporters of the new law were also keen to celebrate. The hashtag #EheFuerAlle (marriage for all) began trending worldwide within hours of the announcement, generating more than 50,000 tweets.

One Twitter user posted: "Germany legalized same sex marriage. I am proud of Germany for the first time."

Another posted: "I might be crying some happy tears right now, marriage equality in Germany is everything I've wished for this month."


Another tweeted her excitement about the prospect of a family wedding: "My brother can finally marry his boyfriend of 8 years."

An image of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin illuminated in rainbow colours to symbolise the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride movement was being widely shared.

A number of other hashtags were also being used, including #lovewins generating more than 10,000 tweets, and #LoveisLove with more than 25,000 tweets.

Image copyright @studiohiblj/Twitter

However, some also voiced their frustration at Chancellor Merkel who, following the vote, said that for her marriage was between a man and a woman. But she also said she hoped the passing of the bill would lead to more "social cohesion and peace".

Merkel backlash

The chancellor's actions and words were disappointing for some supporters of gay marriage, even though she will go down in history as the political leader who made it possible.

The bill is one of the very last measures to come through parliament before the September general election, and on social media there were some voices who were clear she would not have their support.

"Merkel votes AGAINST marriage equality... well I will vote against her in the upcoming election," posted one Twitter user.

Others defended the chancellor's stance. "She can't win. If she'd voted in favour of #Ehefueralle after stating again+again that she's against it, ppl would call her an opportunist."

By the BBC's UGC and Social News team

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