German Chancellor Angela Merkel Picture: Michael Sohn/AP

Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she voted against legalising gay marriage given her personal view that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but she hoped parliament's approval of the measure would lead to more social cohesion.

"For me, marriage in the Basic Law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favour of this bill today," she told reporters moments after the 393-266 vote in favour of an amendment that will legalise same-sex marriage.

"I hope that the vote today not only promotes respect between different opinions but also brings more social cohesion and peace," she added.

Reuters