A German man who married his Spanish husband in Canada has been told by a court Germany will recognise his marriage as a registered partnership.

Andreas Boettcher, a 37-year-old event manager, married his partner in 2006 in Montreal. Canada allows gay marriage.

When he returned to Germany, he was seen as a single man in the eyes of the law.

Germany does not recognise gay marriage. Instead, it allows gay couples access to registered partnerships, which grant them some but not all of the rights afforded to straight couples.

The Berlin administrative court has now ruled he must be listed as one half of a registered partnership.

In a statement, the court said: “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.

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

The court added the change would apply to all gay couples married abroad