GERMANY could vote on legalising marriage equality as soon as Friday.

Despite opposition from the Christian Democrats, the German parliament is on track to vote on same-sex marriage this week, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

The Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens forced the issue into parliament yesterday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested earlier this week that lawmakers should be free to vote on marriage equality rather than being bound by party policy.

Ahead of the German election in September, Merkel has distanced herself from the Christian Democrats’ opposition to marriage equality and referred to a free vote.

“We cannot have first-class and second-class love in Germany,” said Social Democrats legal affairs spokesperson Johannes Fechner.

The German Catholic Church has condemned the move, saying politicians are trying to force a decision through parliament in a “completely inappropriate” way.

Polls indicate most Germans support marriage equality.

More than a dozen European countries have already legalised same-sex marriage.

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