The Independent reports:

Angela Merkel has voted against same-sex marriage in Germany because she believes that “marriage is between a man and woman”.

Despite her opposition, the Bundestag voted to legalise equal marriage by 393 votes to 226, and the Chancellor said she hoped the move would improve social cohension.

“For me, marriage in German law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favour of this bill today,” she told reporters moments after the historic vote.

“I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace.”

The Chancellor said she supported the bill’s introduction of full adoption rights for same-sex couples – a move she had previously opposed – and was fighting anti-LGBT discrimination.

Political analysts said that despite condemnation from critics over her no vote, Ms Merkel had trodden a careful line on same-sex marriage.

While endearing herself to right-wing voters on a personal level, she ultimately allowed the vote to happen by freeing the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) from their obligation as a coalition partner not to put the bill forward.

The party called the snap vote under an amendment entitled “marriage for all”, which was guaranteed majority support in the Bundestag with the combined backing of the SDP, The Left party and Greens.