Speaking at an event organised by women's magazine Brigitte, the German chancellor said she felt aggrieved that the gay marriage debate was mainly carried out along party lines and that she hoped the discussion would be "headed towards a conscience vote".
Ms. Merkel, when asked Monday evening about gay adoption, cited what she said was a recent meeting with a lesbian who invited the chancellor to visit her and her partner's home in Ms. Merkel's parliamentary constituency in northern Germany, where the couple has raised at least eight foster children. Schulz meanwhile also accused Merkel's conservative CDU-CSU bloc of having blocked the introduction of laws guaranteeing marriage equality for homosexual couples throughout the past four years of the coalition government.
Germany introduced civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in 2001, but they do not have the right to marry. Merkel paves way for gay marriage vote in Germany https://t.co/vtV7zbZWMR pic.twitter.com/EyTDbsSjOX- euronews (@euronews) 27 juin 2017 How will the vote play out?
Nuclear energy Playing for time, things began to spiral out of control when the leader explained how she thought about things for a long time before "spitting out" a final position, whether on the Greek crisis or ending nuclear energy in Germany after the Fukushima disaster.
Merkel chairs the CDU which together with its sister party, the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), is known for socially conservative views and has held a longstanding opposition to the introduction of same-sex marriage. Instead she said she could envision a "decision of conscience", granting parliamentarians a free vote during the next legislative period.
Opinion polls suggest most Germans support marriage equality.
Schulz revitalised SPD support and enjoyed soaring popularity ratings when he took his party's reins in January, but the trend has since reversed.
Prior to this year, Merkel's stance was that she was "not sure" about legalizing same-sex marriage because of issues of "children's welfare".
Last Sunday, her junior coalition partners and election rivals, the Social Democrats (SPD), upped the ante by declaring they would insist on same-sex marriage in any future alliance.