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Court rules Germany must recognise foreign gay marriages

AFP · 15 Jun 2010, 17:24

Published: 15 Jun 2010 17:24 GMT+02:00

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Germany introduced "registered partnerships" for same-sex couples in 2001 but stopped short of granting them the full rights and privileges afforded to married couples.

The plaintiff had married a Spanish man in Canada in 2006 but when he returned to Germany, he was registered as single because the authorities did not recognise the foreign wedding.

Now the local registry office must at least list him as half of a "registered partnership", the Berlin administrative court found.

"The court agreed with the view of the authorities that he could not be registered as 'married' because a marriage under German law requires different-sex couples," it said in a statement.

"However the plaintiff could demand registry as a life partner because Canadian gay marriage largely corresponds under German law to a registered partnership."

Story continues below…

The court said the policy would apply to any gay couple lawfully married abroad.

Germany's "registered partnership" law grants couples similar privileges to those of married spouses in areas including hospital visits, inheritance and adoption of children but stops short of equality, notably with tax benefits.

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Your comments about this article

21:35 June 15, 2010 by The kitten
What do you expect from a country that allows religion to still take such an important role in governance? You have all the hypocrisy: anything goes so long as you don't try to change the law of the Bible.

I love living here, however I thank the stars that I'm neither religious, subservient to authority nor browbeaten to believe that there is no alternative. Oh and that I'm heterosexual... it's bad enough that I'm a self-employed single (never married!!!) mother that has employed a nursery and childminder for my child since he was two!
10:21 June 16, 2010 by Portnoy
Why is that bad kitten? The German state paid for those. And you get far more state benefits as a single mother than you would married.

I'm a little unclear on what it is you're whining about.
14:13 June 16, 2010 by dcgi
I'm sure we'll all look back at this in 20-30 years time cringing when they've long since dropped stupid laws like this, marriage should be marriage if you're hetro/homosexual.

This is probably the biggest issue I have with Germany, well actually it's no shopping on Sunday, but it's all part of the same mess that is the intertwining of religion and the state.
14:34 June 16, 2010 by Talonx
Better than the state I come from.
20:11 June 18, 2010 by scoobydube
At least in Germany the WHOLE country recognizes same-sex partnerships. Try that in the United States. You'll be hounded out of the city, county, and/or state, especially in the VERY religious South. Just one more reason that the WHOLE European continent is WAY ahead of the times, unlike the VERY 'progressive' U.S.of A.............
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