In a snap vote on Friday, members of Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage in Germany. Previously, civil unions were permitted but same-sex couples were not allowed to marry.
The legislation passed on a vote of 393 to 226. Four lawmakers abstained.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel paved the way for the vote earlier this week when she told members of her conservative bloc that they should vote their conscience, rather than the party line.
Merkel, who voted against same-sex marriage, says the opposite view must be respected. She has said she believes the country's law sees marriage as between a man and a woman.