The German Parliament on Friday legalised same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would allow lawmakers from her Conservative Party to vote based on their conscience, reported AFP. However, Merkel herself voted against the Bill that grants full marital rights, including child adoption, to gay and lesbian couples.

The lower House of the Parliament approved the Bill to legalise same sex-marriage by a margin of 393 votes to 226, reported Reuters. The upper House has already passed the Bill. The German legal code was changed to say “marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex”, in the Bill, which found strong support from Leftist parties.

Merkel said she hoped the Parliament’s approval would lead to more “social cohesion”. The chancellor, in spite of voting against the Bill to legalise gay marriage, had said on Monday that same-sex couples should be able to jointly adopt children, a position she had opposed earlier.

In 2001, Germany had legalised same-sex civil unions.