For several years, Germany has seemed like a strange anomaly in Western Europe on one of the key cultural issues of the modern era.
As country after country passed gay marriage in Europe and the Americas, Germany held out.
On the gay marriage map of Europe, a wave of dark blue came rushing in from the West. Starting with The Netherlands and Belgium in 2001, countries adopted full gay marriage.
The most surprising development came in 2015, when the Irish voted in a referendum to allow gay marriage - the first country to do so by public vote. Long known as a conservative country dominated by the Catholic church, it was a chance for the country to demonstrate just how much it has changed over the past three decades.
But meanwhile in central Europe, everything remained frozen.