German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech as part of the 'Congress: Germany 4.0' of the Christian Democratic Union faction at the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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Germany is set to legalize same-sex marriage Friday after a heated spat sealed an election-year divorce between Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and her center-left governing partners.Merkel's comments were widely read as a tactical move to deprive opposition parties of a campaign issue before Sept. 24 elections.Her coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD), as well as the Greens, far-left Linke and pro-business Free Democrats, have declared same-sex marriage as a red-line demand and condition for entering into any future coalition.By signaling that she was open on the issue, Merkel kept the door open to various alliance options for her Christian Democrats (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the CSU.It said the developments could be seen either as a clever move by Merkel, or as her being "outfoxed" by leftist parties.The vote will leave the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) as the only party to oppose same-sex marriage.
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