Germany voted to legalise same sex marriage last night.
Congratulations to the LGBT community in Germany. I hope this is another step on the road to full acceptance in society.
No gratitude to Angela Merkel though. She truly has shown her icy brutality as a human being in this whole saga. Cunning to the point of awe. Inspirational in her calculating deviousness.
She allowed a parliamentary vote on minority civil rights, after twelve long years of opposing them. What gives?
Only when it looked like her opposition would become a hindrance in the upcoming election and damage her coalition prospects did she drop her opposition. However in one spiteful, last act of opportunism she personally voted against equality, claiming that in her view marriage was between a man and a woman, and that her opposition was on the grounds of ‘children’s welfare’. Advertise your right wing credentials right there Ange.
The awful thing about Merkel is that I don’t believe she was ever opposed to equal minority civil rights in her heart (or whatever semblance of a heart that she has). When she gained power twelve long years ago, supporting civil partnerships but opposing marriage was a practical, mainstream and convenient position to take. Those uppity queers received adequate legal protection but don’t join the main table.
Since that time the world has changed. Changed so much that a ravenously catholic country like the Republic of Ireland decided overwhelmingly (by popular vote) to legalise equal civil rights. One by one countries advanced on this subject while Merkel maintained her position. France, the UK (excluding Norn Iron) ; Ireland; Finland.
Suddenly Merkel found herself having to justify her previously enlightened, but now backward stance.
Merkel leads a conservative party – The Christian Democrats – whose members are more likely to be bigots (oops – I’ve said a very bad thing here, I know. I learned during the Irish marriage campaign you had to bite your lip and maintain a bland smile towards people who said that you were a 2nd class citizen. You had to act like they were reasonable people with valid points of view, and NEVER suggest that they may in fact be drooling bigots. Otherwise you might look like you had grand notions about yourself). Therefore by maintaining opposition to equality she kept these people sweet.
The tides were turning though – a massive 83% of Germans supported equality. Germany has a general election in September. And this was becoming an election issue. As politicians tend to do, Angela tried to humanise herself in the run up to an election.
She gave an interview to German women’s magazine ‘Brigitte’ last weekend. She shocked Germany by claiming saying that she would allow a conscience vote on the issue at some unspecified future date (in a cute touch she pretended that an imaginary lesbian couple fostering eight children in her constituency, changed her mind – I want see pictures of that couple; they sound like a couple invented by spin doctors).
Merkel is in coalition government with the centre-left Social Democrats, who support equality. With admirable efficiency they seized the initiative and said there’s no time like the present. The vote should be immediate (or they’d withdraw from government and turn this into a huge issue in the September election).
Merkel called the vote, allowed it to be free, thereby neutralising the issue before the election; making herself look like a liberal, moderate, reformer and allowing other parties (who said they wouldn’t unless this was sorted) to go into coalition with her.
On the other hand by opposing equal civil rights on a personal level in her own vote, she can say to the swivel-eyed loons in her party that she’s still got their back (not in a gay way – down with this sort of thing).
Like I said I don’t think Merkel ever had real personal opposition to equality – she simply positioned herself in the most advantageous position at any particular time
I have to say it was a political master-class. Utterly ruthless, cold, opportunistic and self-serving. Entirely lacking in personal integrity, compassion or humanity. She seemed absolutely calculating to the core of her being.
Angela Merkel is an utter machine of a politician. No wonder Europe is so scared of her – an absolute shark when compared to minnows like Tresemmé de Westminster.
Thankfully Ireland has political giants like Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar to fight our corner.
Oh my sides.