GERMAN leader Angela Merkel has said that meeting one lesbian couple changed her mind on same-sex marriage.

The chancellor, who has been firmly against marriage equality in the past, said her mind was changed by an encounter with the couple, Gay Star News has reported.

As Germany moves to vote on marriage equality, Merkel has softened her stance on marriage equality.

“I had a life-changing experience in my home constituency,” she said.

The chancellor, who had previously opposed same-sex marriage out of concern for the “wellbeing of children”, attended a dinner with a lesbian couple who care for eight foster children.

“If the youth welfare service entrusts a lesbian couple with eight foster children, then the state could no longer use child welfare as an argument against adoptions,” Merkel said.

Her sudden change of stance on the matter has shocked many, including Merkel’s own party.

Some have suggested the change has been a matter of maintaining popularity, as the majority of Germans support marriage equality.

“Merkel switched her position now to prevent the [opposition] from attacking her on it in the campaign,” said Thomas Jaeger, a German political scientist.

“About 80 per cent of the people in Germany are in favour and she’s willing to take on a few hard-line conservatives in her own ranks.”

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