German Chancellor Angela Merkel Believes Same Sex Marriage Shouldn’t Be Called A Marriage



German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone on record as saying that whilst she believes same-sex marriage should be allowed, it should be named something other than marriage.  ‘For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together.  That is my concept, but I support civil partnerships.’

The German head of state answered questions from the online community as she took part in an interview with German Youtube star Florian Mundt, also known as LeFloid, as part of the ‘Gut Leben’ (good living) campaign.

When asked about her stance on marriage equality Merkel replied ‘I’m someone who is very supportive of us eliminating all discrimination.  We have come a long way, when I remember 25 years ago, many people didn’t dare say that they are gay or lesbian.  Luckily we overcame this, you can enter a partnership, a civil partnership.’

‘For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together.  this is my concept, but I support civil partnerships’, she continued.  ‘I support us not discriminating against them when it comes to taxes, and to remove any other discrimination wherever we may find it.’

Mundt questioned Merkel on wanting to keep marriage between same-sex couples and straight couples separate whilst giving them the same legal rights.

‘For me there is still a difference.’  She tried to explain.  ‘It’s not the same, but they [same sex couples] want the same.  Everything else is an exclusion for me.  I don’t want discrimination and I want equality, but I make a difference at some point.’

Her interviewer, quite rightly, tried to point out the absurdity of in one breath claiming to want equality, then in the next continue to differentiate between the two types of marriage.  ‘So you could say no to discrimination, but we’ll keep differentiating between the two?’

‘No discrimination,’ Merkel responded.  ‘Marriage as a man and a woman living together.’

This bizarre double standard of saying, ‘we wont discriminate and we support you, but we will treat you differently’ is very baffling and very concerning.  If the chancellor of Germany does not see what she has said as being discriminatory it could lead to some very concerning situations arising for the German LGBT community.


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Amy is a journalist and editor contributing the websites Planet Transgender, Gay News Network, The Bottle Episode, The Retro Box and Claire Channel. Amy is also a published comic book writer and letterer. In addition to her writing Amy has also worked with the Centre For Hate Crime Studies in Leicester and has worked in the capacity of an advisor to the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women.


  1. Simply by saying this one group can have one thing, and this other group can have the same thing, but we’re going to call it something else to make sure everyone knows that whilst they’re the same, there is a difference, that is discrimination.

    It doesn’t matter that civil unions and marriage might be exactly the same under the law, calling them different names is marginalising one group, i.e. the LGBT community.

    If a politician turned round and said only white people can call their marriage a marriage, but people of colour can call theirs a civil union would people say that’s not discrimination? No, they wouldn’t.

    If marriage and civil unions are the same then call them the same thing. Or, if they’re the same and no one has a problem with the different names because its not discrimination, why don’t we let same sex marriage be called marriage and straight marriage be called civil unions?

    Calling same sex marriage a civil union rather than marriage is a way of immediately being able to look at someone and say, well, you’re different aren’t you? You’ve got a civil union, so you must be different from everyone else.

    Whilst Merkel may completely believe what she is saying means no harm, and that it’s not discrimination, the second you start trying to treat minorities differently for no obvious reason then that is discrimination, plain and simple.

  2. I like Merkel’s position. I see it as spot on. When it comes to discrimination* she is against it. Discrimination is not the same thing as differentiation or making distinctions. What she has said, as I read in your article, is that if you make a distinction between marriage and civil unions you are not entitled to use that distinction as a basis for discrimination. And she seems to have also said that sexual orientation is not an excuse for discrimination.

    Distinctions will be there. You (Amy) seem to be saying that making a distinction is a form of discrimination that will necessarily open the door to all other forms of discrimination. Would you say it is a bizarre double standard to recognize someones race yet say that is not grounds for discrimination?

    I would also point out that her opinion about marriage and civil unions she is careful to claim is simply her personal view. When she talks about eliminating discrimination she goes further. That is something she supports. I think you missed some critical subtleties in what she said.

    Just my 2 cents

    *To be clear – I believe Merkel was using the word discrimination to refer to poorer treatment of a person based on some difference between them and a person who would receive better treatment. This would include legal standing, how laws are applied, etc. And the key thing here is how it is a matter of actions.


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