DAYS after German leader Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote on same-sex marriage, a clear majority of German MPs have voted to pass marriage equality.

The reform will allow same-sex couple to have full marital rights, and will allow them to adopt children, according to BBC News.

The bill was backed by 393 lawmakers, voted against by 226, and abstained by four.

While Merkel backed the free vote, she voted against the reform, saying that for her marriage was between a man and a woman.

The German legal code will now read, “marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex”.

Australian LGBTI advocates have said the free vote in Germany shows a way forward for Australia to follow suit.

“Like many other Australian marriage equality supporters, I am happy tens of thousands of German same-sex partners will soon be able to marry but frustrated that Australia has fallen behind most other western countries,” said just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome.

“The silver lining for Australian supporters of marriage equality is that Angela Merkel’s decision to allow a free vote for her centre right party increases pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to do the same.

“If Angela Merkel can show strong leadership by steering Germany to marriage equality through a free vote, why can’t Malcolm Turnbull?”

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