German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday voted against a bill that extends marriage to gay and lesbian couples.

“For me, marriage in German law is marriage between a man and a woman and that is why I did not vote in favor of this bill today,” Merkel said after casting her “no” vote.

According to Deutsche Welle, the bill, which makes Germany the 14th European country to approve same-sex marriage, passed with a 393 to 226 vote, with four abstentions.

The opportunity to move on the issue appeared earlier this week when Merkel signaled that she would support a free vote on the issue among her party members. Supporters in the Bundestag quickly drafted a bill and put it up for a vote on the last day of the session.

Merkel was under increasing pressure to act on the issue from potential coalition partners that may emerge from September's upcoming election.

Since 2001, Germany has recognized gay and lesbian couples with civil partnerships.