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Germany to fast-track gay marriage law

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Photo: DPA
13:32 CEST+02:00
The German government wants to push through legislation to put gay partnerships on the same tax footing as straight marriages before the summer recess. But adoption rights remain a point of contention.

The governing coalition of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the Free Democratic Party is set to present a bill to parliament on June 14th, CDU party whip Volker Kauder announced after a meeting with conservative MPs. The Bundestag would then vote on the bill on June 28th.

The move was a response to a constitutional court ruling on Thursday, which found that same-sex partners have a right to the same generous tax benefits as married couples, in a landmark step for gay rights in Europe.

Only three government MPs voted against bringing the new bill before parliament, though some, like health policy spokesman Jens Spahn, expressed disappointment that the bill did not extend to making adoption rights equal. The FDP, as well as the opposition Social Democrats and the Green party are all in favour of this.

"My model is: wherever the laws discuss marriage, we must add civil partnerships," said Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger of the FDP.

The Local/bk

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