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Pictures | Fri Jun 30, 2017 | 2:50pm BST

German lawmakers approve same-sex marriage

A couple is seen kissing as people celebrate Germany's parliament legalizing same-sex marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany June 30, 2017. Germany's parliament backed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in a historic vote hailed by gay activists and leftist parties but criticised by some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative bloc and by the Catholic Church.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

A couple is seen kissing as people celebrate Germany's parliament legalizing same-sex marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany June 30, 2017. Germany's parliament backed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in a historic vote...more

A couple is seen kissing as people celebrate Germany's parliament legalizing same-sex marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany June 30, 2017. Germany's parliament backed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in a historic vote hailed by gay activists and leftist parties but criticised by some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative bloc and by the Catholic Church. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Volker Beck of Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) celebrates after a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag voted on legalizing same-sex marriage. The move brings Germany into line with many other European nations including France, Britain and Spain and follows Merkel's surprise decision this week to allow her lawmakers to follow their own conscience rather than the party line on the issue. Merkel, daughter of a Protestant pastor, voted against the bill.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Volker Beck of Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) celebrates after a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag voted on legalizing same-sex marriage. The move brings Germany into line with many other European nations...more

Volker Beck of Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) celebrates after a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag voted on legalizing same-sex marriage. The move brings Germany into line with many other European nations including France, Britain and Spain and follows Merkel's surprise decision this week to allow her lawmakers to follow their own conscience rather than the party line on the issue. Merkel, daughter of a Protestant pastor, voted against the bill. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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People celebrate Germany's parliament legalizing same-sex marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Hundreds of gay activists, some with painted faces, celebrated outside the Bundestag lower house of parliament after the vote, waving rainbow flags and placards that read "Marriage for all - make love for all".

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

People celebrate Germany's parliament legalizing same-sex marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Hundreds of gay activists, some with painted faces, celebrated outside the Bundestag lower house of parliament after the vote, waving...more

People celebrate Germany's parliament legalizing same-sex marriage in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Hundreds of gay activists, some with painted faces, celebrated outside the Bundestag lower house of parliament after the vote, waving rainbow flags and placards that read "Marriage for all - make love for all". REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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A woman takes a photograph of a cake in the SPD faction headquarters. "This is simply a historic day for Germany," said Soeren Landmann, a marriage equality activist. "Today, thousands of same-sex couples were given equality, and the two-class society in matters of love was abolished. Germany can really rejoice today."

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

A woman takes a photograph of a cake in the SPD faction headquarters. "This is simply a historic day for Germany," said Soeren Landmann, a marriage equality activist. "Today, thousands of same-sex couples were given equality, and the two-class...more

A woman takes a photograph of a cake in the SPD faction headquarters. "This is simply a historic day for Germany," said Soeren Landmann, a marriage equality activist. "Today, thousands of same-sex couples were given equality, and the two-class society in matters of love was abolished. Germany can really rejoice today." REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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An unidentified couple kisses after a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. The vote has particular resonance in Germany as it unwinds a legacy of virulent homophobia. Earlier this year parliament agreed to grant compensation to thousands of gay men jailed under a 19th century law that was strengthened by the Nazis and only dropped in 1969 when homosexuality was decriminalized in West Germany.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

An unidentified couple kisses after a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. The vote has particular resonance in Germany as it unwinds a legacy of virulent homophobia. Earlier this year parliament agreed to grant compensation to...more

An unidentified couple kisses after a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. The vote has particular resonance in Germany as it unwinds a legacy of virulent homophobia. Earlier this year parliament agreed to grant compensation to thousands of gay men jailed under a 19th century law that was strengthened by the Nazis and only dropped in 1969 when homosexuality was decriminalized in West Germany. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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People celebrate in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag. A survey by pollster INSA for daily Bild showed this week that three quarters of Germans favoured the legalization of same-sex marriage. Lawmakers voted by 393 votes in favor of same-sex marriage to 226 against, with four abstentions.

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

People celebrate in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag. A survey by pollster INSA for daily Bild showed this week that three quarters of Germans favoured the legalization of same-sex marriage. Lawmakers voted by 393 votes in favor...more

People celebrate in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag. A survey by pollster INSA for daily Bild showed this week that three quarters of Germans favoured the legalization of same-sex marriage. Lawmakers voted by 393 votes in favor of same-sex marriage to 226 against, with four abstentions. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of the lower house of parliament Bundestag vote on legalizing same-sex marriage. Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in a national election on Sept. 24, said she had voted against the bill because she believed that marriage as defined under German law was between a man and a woman. But she said her decision was a personal one, adding that she had become convinced in recent years that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children. "I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between the different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace," she said.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of the lower house of parliament Bundestag vote on legalizing same-sex marriage. Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in a national election on Sept. 24, said she had voted against the bill because she...more

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of the lower house of parliament Bundestag vote on legalizing same-sex marriage. Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in a national election on Sept. 24, said she had voted against the bill because she believed that marriage as defined under German law was between a man and a woman. But she said her decision was a personal one, adding that she had become convinced in recent years that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children. "I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between the different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace," she said. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Visitors follow a debate during a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. Same-sex marriage became a hot election topic after three parties - the Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens - each made it a condition for joining any future coalition with Merkel's conservatives, effectively forcing her hand. The SPD is part of the current coalition.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Visitors follow a debate during a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. Same-sex marriage became a hot election topic after three parties - the Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens - each made it a...more

Visitors follow a debate during a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. Same-sex marriage became a hot election topic after three parties - the Social Democrats (SPD), the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens - each made it a condition for joining any future coalition with Merkel's conservatives, effectively forcing her hand. The SPD is part of the current coalition. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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A demonstrator is seen in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag. At an event hosted by women's magazine "Brigitte" this week Merkel spoke of a "dramatic experience" when she told a lesbian in her home constituency how she had struggled with the idea of same-sex couples adopting children. Merkel said the woman had responded: "I tell you what, come and visit me in my home, where I live with my lesbian partner and eight foster children. The foster children have been with us for many years, and I think they are doing well."

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

A demonstrator is seen in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag. At an event hosted by women's magazine "Brigitte" this week Merkel spoke of a "dramatic experience" when she told a lesbian in her home constituency how she had...more

A demonstrator is seen in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag. At an event hosted by women's magazine "Brigitte" this week Merkel spoke of a "dramatic experience" when she told a lesbian in her home constituency how she had struggled with the idea of same-sex couples adopting children. Merkel said the woman had responded: "I tell you what, come and visit me in my home, where I live with my lesbian partner and eight foster children. The foster children have been with us for many years, and I think they are doing well." REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
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Mechthild Rawert of the SPD Party takes a picture with her phone as she attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. The same-sex bill will likely be signed into law by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier some time after July 7.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Mechthild Rawert of the SPD Party takes a picture with her phone as she attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. The same-sex bill will likely be signed into law by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier some time after July...more

Mechthild Rawert of the SPD Party takes a picture with her phone as she attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. The same-sex bill will likely be signed into law by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier some time after July 7. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Erika Steinbach of the CDU attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. Erika Steinbach, an independent lawmaker who quit Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in protest over her open-door policy towards asylum seekers, accused the chancellor of betraying the party's values in pursuit of electoral advantage. "It runs against the CDU's own party programme, which sees marriage as being between a man and a woman, so CDU decisions are clearly not worth the paper they are written on. It would be hard to exaggerate how excruciating this is," said Steinbach.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Erika Steinbach of the CDU attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. Erika Steinbach, an independent lawmaker who quit Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in protest over her open-door policy towards asylum seekers, accused...more

Erika Steinbach of the CDU attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag. Erika Steinbach, an independent lawmaker who quit Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in protest over her open-door policy towards asylum seekers, accused the chancellor of betraying the party's values in pursuit of electoral advantage. "It runs against the CDU's own party programme, which sees marriage as being between a man and a woman, so CDU decisions are clearly not worth the paper they are written on. It would be hard to exaggerate how excruciating this is," said Steinbach. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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A cake is seen as Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) celebrate. The right-wing, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which opposed marriage equality, accused Merkel of "abandoning the last conservative nuances her party had". The Catholic Church said it regretted the decision. "An appreciation of same-sex cohabitation can also be expressed by a different institutional design," said Archbishop Heiner Kochof of Berlin.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

A cake is seen as Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) celebrate. The right-wing, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which opposed marriage equality, accused Merkel of "abandoning the last conservative nuances her party...more

A cake is seen as Germany's environmental party Die Gruenen (The Greens) celebrate. The right-wing, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which opposed marriage equality, accused Merkel of "abandoning the last conservative nuances her party had". The Catholic Church said it regretted the decision. "An appreciation of same-sex cohabitation can also be expressed by a different institutional design," said Archbishop Heiner Kochof of Berlin. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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A man smiles as people celebrate. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

A man smiles as people celebrate. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

A man smiles as people celebrate. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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People demonstrate in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag while the delegates vote. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

People demonstrate in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag while the delegates vote. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

People demonstrate in front of Germany's lower house of parliament Bundestag while the delegates vote. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
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