The conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the dominant party in Bavarian politics for years has for the first time acknowledged the validity of same sex relationships.

The position is not whole hearted however with the party still not supporting same sex marriages or adoption.

The spokesman for the party, Deutsche Welle reports, said: “the CSU wanted its new position regarding gay relationships to reflect today’s reality”.

The deputy party chief reiterated the party line of applying human rights arbitrarily on a radio interview, “We want to show that we respect the values which are lived in these partnerships” but; “that only extends to a certain point”.

The statements however are a small step forward in comparison to the open homophobia stressed by previous generations of leaders.

Bavaria under the CSU was the only state in Germany that took the issue of gay marriages all the way to the federal court in an attempt to block peoples rights to marriage.

Indeed it still blocks the right to marriage for same sex couples in official registry offices.

The move towards slightly more tolerance could be compared with this countries conservatives; attempting to capture more of the centre ground with the CSU making significant losses in several big cities in recent years.