After Ireland's citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage equality in a historic referendum, members of Germany's Green party have called for the recognition of same-sex marriage in Germany as well. The Greens on Sunday appealed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to allow same-sex marriage in Germany. "It's time Mrs. Merkel," the party's parliamentary leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt told newspaper "Die Welt." "The Merkel faction cannot just sit out the debate on marriage for all…I am confident that the Irish vote will accelerate equality in Germany." In a historic referendum held on Friday, Ireland voted by a landslide in favor of changing the constitution to recognize marriage between same-sex couples. It marks a significant step in a predominantly Catholic country where homosexuality was a criminal offense until 1993. Same-sex civil partnerships have been legal in Ireland since 2010. Similar recognition was introduced almost a decade earlier in Germany with the Civil Partnership Act in 2001, but in the meantime, Göring-Eckardt said "even Ireland has overtaken us." The German partnerships, however, do not provide couples with exactly the same tax and adoption rights as marriage.