Why Angela Merkel, known for embracing liberal values, voted against same-sex marriage

The daughter of a Protestant pastor, Merkel has long sided with the right of her party on the issue. In 2015, the chancellor said: “For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together.” She repeated those comments almost word for word on Friday. What has since changed, however, is Merkel’s stance on the right of same-sex couples to adopt children, which she now appears to be in favor of.

Her ambiguity on the issue fits a common pattern which has shaped much of her 12 years as German chancellor: Merkel hardly defines her role in an ideological sense. As chancellor, Merkel has repeatedly turned her back on herself and her own party when she deemed it necessary to adjust to the political winds.