German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she voted against same-sex marriage because she believes the country's law sees it as between a man and a woman, but that the opposite view must be respected.
Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in a snap vote Friday. Merkel paved the way for the vote with comments earlier in the week that freed members of her conservative bloc to vote according to their conscience, rather than the party line.
She says "for me marriage as defined by the law is the marriage of a man and a woman" but she continues to see the interpretation as a "decision of conscience."
The measure, which is expected to see legal challenges, also opens the door for gay couples to adopt — which Merkel says she supports.