Germany's lawmakers are set to vote on the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country. The vote is expected to take place despite the issue of same-sex marriage dividing Chancellor Angela Merkel's party.

Political games

Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) called for the vote through an amendment. The vote is seen as a significant victory as Germany gears up for federal elections in September. Martin Schulz, the SPD party leader, and former European Parliament president said that his party would push for marriage equality in Germany this week.

Merkel, during a group meeting on Wednesday, accused Schulz's party of blindsiding her by bringing forward the same-sex marriage issue.

The conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is yet to embrace the issue of same-sex marriage fully. The Chancellor noted her sadness over the politicization of same-sex marriage. She urged every member of Germany's parliament to follow their conscience during the vote. Merkel's party holds 254 out of 636 seats in Germany's Bundestag lower house of parliament.

The party is currently governing Germany in a coalition government with the SDP. SDP members hold influential posts in Germany's government, including the foreign and economy ministerial dockets. After Merkel stated that members of the two parties would be free of the party whip, German lawmakers are widely expected to vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

The rise of right-wing extremism

Most of Germany's neighbors support legal unions between same-sex partners.

Pressure has been mounting from German citizens for the government to drop its resistance toward legalization. The proposal that Germany legalize same-sex marriage was first proposed in 2015 in the upper house by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The German President could sign the plan into law after the seventh of July. The legalization of same-sex marriage comes amid the rise of right-wing extremism in Germany.

According to Interior Ministry figures, 462 right-wing offenders are on the run from security organizations. According to Die Linke, the refugee influx has increased the risk of terror incidents in Germany, but also a rise in violence perpetrated by right-wing extremists.

In 2001, The Netherlands became the first European country to legalize same-sex marriage. Spain, Belgium, Canada, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom then followed suit.

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