Up until now....civil unions were the tool that you used in Germany....if you wanted to be a same-sex pair. Generally, the public didn't put gay-marriage on their top ten issues (maybe not even the top twenty-five issues).
For the CDU and CSU (the right of center political parties)....there was simply not going to be any serious interest in changing the law.
The Greens and Linke Party were mostly all for gay-marriage occurring, and the SPD in recent months went to favor this heavily.
So, this past week....Merkel went and modified the CDU platform yet again (basically taking another theme from the SPD).....making gay-marriage now likely to be voted upon.
For sixteen years.....civil unions have been the norm. It was pretty much a simple task....go down to the local Rothaus...do some paperwork, and it's stamped official.
Polling suggests that 70-percent of the German public supports gay-marriage.
An EU shift? No one says that. It might take another decade for the EU to step up and push on this.
A rush to have large numbers married? I'm not so sure about that. A fair number are already in civil unions and some might conduct the marriage just make a public statement.