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Conservatives reverse on gay marriage equality

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Photo: DPA
13:45 CET+01:00
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party is ready to give up its resistance to giving gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Saturday.

The paper said the CDU's parliamentary group in the Bundestag is preparing to move for equal rights for gay couples. This comes after a long debate last year over how to treat gay couples when it comes to taxes and adoption rights.

The reversal was praised by Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Scharrenberger, a politician from the Free Democratic Party, the junior coalition partner in the federal government. She has pushed for equal treatment for some time.

Michael GrosseBrömer, the CDU parliamentary group leader, said that given “the clear tendencies of legal judgments of the Constitutional Court we should act as quickly as possible to allow for the required constitutional equality.”

He said the CDU Bundestag group is now discussing how to do that and talks at the coalition level will follow.

Should the CDU change its position it would pave the way for putting gay marriage on the same level as heterosexual ones, including providing for favorable tax laws and adoption rights, the paper said.

The FDP as well as opposition parties have long called for equal treatment of gay and heterosexual marriages before the law.

“I welcome that the CDU is open to a modern social policy,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told the paper.

“My ministry has a bill for the full adoption ready and waiting in the wings,” she added. The bill is a reaction to a recent decision by the Constitutional Court which gives marriage and domestic partnerships the same legal rights when it comes to adoption.

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The ruling furthermore calls for laws applying to marriage partners to read that they apply to marriage partners or life partners.

Merkel has not been an ardent proponent for gay marriage equality in the CDU, but her party has been less opposed to giving same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual ones than its more conservative Bavarian sister party the CSU.

The Local/mw

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