Germany’s parliament has voted by a wide margin to legalise same-sex marriage after Chancellor Angela Merkel changed her mind and said members of her ruling conservative bloc should follow their personal conscience rather than the party line.

The parliament voted by 393 to 226 on Friday in favour of same-sex marriage.

The reform gives full marital rights for same-sex couples and allows them to adopt children.

Merkel, who will seek a fourth term in a national election in September, told reporters after the landmark decision that she had voted against the measure because she believed that marriage as defined under German law was between a man and a woman.