Berlin: Germany on Friday became the 23rd country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, after lawmakers passed a bill in a snap vote that was approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel just four days ago.
The initiative, which delivers full rights to same-sex couples, including on adoption, was propelled through Germany’s Bundestag (parliament) with the backing of 393 lawmakers to 226 against, reported international media sources.
“Progress is possible. As the 23rd country on earth, we now have marriage equality in Germany. I’m happy for all the married couples-to-be,” wrote Martin Schulz on Twitter, whose Social Democratic Party (SPD) seized on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision on Monday to allow the vote.
Germany now joins 13 other European countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and Ireland, which already have same-sex marriage laws in place.
by Davis Owillah
Tanzania has threatened to arrest and expel activists, as well as deregister all non-governmental organisations that campaign for gay rights.
Homosexuality is a criminal offence in the country, where the law states that suspects convicted of having "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" could face up to 30 years in jail.
Tanzania's Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said both domestic and foreign campaigners for gay rights would now face punitive measures in the country.
"Those who want to campaign for gay rights should find another country that allows those things," Nchemba said in the capital Dodoma.
"If we establish that any organisation registered in our country is campaigning for gay rights ... I will deregister that organisation. If a Tanzanian national is doing that campaign, we will arrest him and take him to court ... and if it is a foreigner, we will immediately order him to leave the country."
The planned crackdown comes amid repeated warnings against "immoral behaviors" by President John Magufuli, who is nicknamed "the Bulldozer" for pushing through his policies.