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Germany gives pension rights to gay civil partners

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  1. Simon Murphy 22 Oct 2009, 6:03pm

    Isn’t it appalling that despite the fact that CP’s exist in Germany that the courts had to make this ruling.

    And the fact that CP’ed couples in Germany are denied the same tax benefits as straight married couples show how unequal and flawed their CP legislation is.

    If there was marriage equality in Germany this company could not have attempted to swindle a gay couple out of their entitlements.

  2. Karsten von Lehr 22 Oct 2009, 8:44pm

    The newish twist in the court’s decision is that it won’t be enough to justify discrimination by referring to the constitution where it is said that marriage – meaning the traditional one – shall enjoy special protection of the state. That was the argument not to give equal rights to same sex marriages. The court’s statement is not new. It already said this years ago but never according to pension or money affairs at all and of course not that precisely.
    The administration offices now have to point out in which way the situation of married same-sex couples is different from the one in straight marriages so they have to be treated differently.
    Which should now be much harder to do.

    Well, from the german gay point of view: Don’t worry, we are on our way – it just needs a bit more time than anywhere else in Europe.
    The comments on the court’s decision state that it shall have huge influence on the treatment of married same-sex couples in the affairs of family, supply and tax law.

  3. Yet AGAIN, we see another country where we’re told that civil partnerships are EXACTLY the same as marriage give the latest update to grant civil partnerships one more huge right that has ALWAYS been conveyed to marriage.

    Gay people do the gay community and the gay rights movement a huge disservice when they perpetuate myths that we have overcome discrimination and that we have “separate but equal” rights. It’s especially harmful to the cause when the rights are separate and decidedly UNEQUAL.

    The only way gay people will have EQUAL rights is when they are given FULL access to ALL civil institutions rather than being afforded alternate institutions.

  4. Daniel Thomas 22 Oct 2009, 9:27pm

    @ Zeke: maybe that is not that much a problem in civil law systems as Germany is one. Things are not automatically different only if you call them differently.
    The question is in fact how the court’s decision will now be handled by the administration. And of course how the new German government will react.

  5. Basically what happened (as I understand it) was that when the German version of Civil Partnerships was introduced, the Christian Democrats, who had a veto in the upper house, nobbled the legislation to ensure that Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschafte were “second best”, roughly with the burdens of marriage but without the benefits.

    While in theory Civil Partnerships can have pretty much equal rights to marriage (as in the UK), every country is a bit different. So if you move around you still have different rights.

    I agree with Zeke that marriage is “the gold standard” and it would be much better all round if we had this.

    It will be interesting to see what difference it makes having Guido Westerwelle as the second most important man in the German government – making him probably the most important openly gay politician in the world.

  6. Aussie Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 23 Oct 2009, 10:08am

    For those who do not know, Germany does not have civil unions or civil partnerships – thay are actually called “LIFE PARTNERSHIPS”.

  7. Daniel Thomas 23 Oct 2009, 1:06pm

    Those Life Partnerships in Germany are entered into the same way as marriages are: at the registry offices. So the institution of Life Partnerships itself is not second class (as I understand it). The benefits of marriages are now granted by the courts one by one… unfortunately very slowly just because the parliament doesn’t anticipate the benefits. bad enough.

  8. Aussie Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 23 Oct 2009, 4:48pm

    Let me simplify things here:

    MARRIAGE – advanced and equal status (marriage is universally recognised so it sould be the only acceptable form of union)
    CIVIL UNION/CIVIL PARTNERSHIP – almost or mostly equal status (not good enough – but getting there)
    DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP (TYPE A)* – almost or mostly equal status (not good enough – but getting there)
    DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP (TYPE B)* – some rights (appaulling and could do way better)
    BENEFICARIES – very few rights (a waste of time being a white elephant in both Hawaii and Colorado)

    * Now when I say “type a” and “type b” I mean this:

    Type A DP means California, DC, Oregon and Nevada (most but not quite all the legal rights of marriage).

    Type B DP means Wisconsin, Washington State, Maryland and Maine (few to some legal rights of marriage).

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