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German court says gay man’s foreign marriage must be recognised as a partnership

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  1. Another backward, dumbass country imitating the UK. Sickening! How much more do we have to take this disgusting treatment of same-sex married couples, no matter where they are from?

  2. This is a rather deficient report; was he asking for the marriage to be recognised as a marriage? If so the court has mimicked the judgment in a similar UK case and he should take it on – if he has the resources – to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds of religious discrimination.

    The European Convention, which the EHRC enforces, allows nations to decide who may marry on the basis of morality, but protects people from religious discrimination, and it is clear that the so-called morality that excludes us from marriage is in fact undisguised religious discrimination, and effectively immoral.

    Unfortunately the UK couple refused to use the religious argument and, in any case had their resources taken away by a spiteful Labour government demanding they pay the government’s legal expenses of the first hearing.

    I you are seeking full equality you have to be prepared to go to the root of the discrimination.

  3. This has been my whole argument about people wanting to change “Civil Partnerships” to “Marriages” because then they will be viewed as married by everyone. Not so. If that countries statute does not recognise same-sex marriage, then, to them, you are just a couple of blokes.

    I fully support the move to try to equalise it in the UK, but that is not going to change other countries attitudes and recognition of the fact, so people might as well get used to it and stop using it as a reason for change. It’s simply not going to happen.

  4. jamestoronto 17 Jun 2010, 1:06am

    How many systems of habitation is this world going to have in a few years?? We have marriages, civil unions, civil partnerships, registered partnerships, unregistered partnerships, registered co-habitations, unregistered co-habitation — this is all getting very confusing, especially when one country will not recognise the laws of the other.

    My country – Canada – recognises all marriages performed in any jurisdiction where the act is legal (so any gay persons married legally in Spain, Sweden, Massachusetts, Iowa, etc. are recognised as legally married in Canada but any couples who have entered into civil unions or partnerships in other countries that do not have full marriage – such as the UK or Germany cannot “upgrade” to marriage and since civil partnership laws in Canada are provincial responsibility and they are not remotely like the European concept – and only three – I think – have them then for the most part two partners – civil union partners from a lot of countries in the EU would enter Canada as “just blokes”

    Can we get some rationalisation here somewhere?

    Coming to you from the unoccupied area of ‘G8/G20/G-whatever joke number’ of Toronto. Have to admit that I haven’t a lot of the ‘walls’ around the world – Berlin- Gaza – but we are getting one pretty scary one here in a city known for it freedom; way to go PM Harper. Making Canada look good or what??!!

    Carry on world.

  5. ‘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.’

    Can they even hear themselves???

    Nice world for gay kids to grow up in. ‘Know your place’ You will be a second class citizen. Sit at the back of the bus. Don’t play with the other kids in case you make them gay. Do not use water fountains. Do not aspire to be anything other than a freak of nature. Do not adopt children. Do not have married couples’ tax breaks or any legal bond of financial security with you & your partner’s hard earned should one of you die. :/

  6. This is just disgusting! I am so tired of this mucking with our marriages! Thank Goddess I married in Canada and did not go the Civil Union or DP route! This is just more of the oppression GLBT people live with on a daily basis.

  7. @Spanner: You’re setting up a straw man. Of course, upgrading CPs to marriage will not ensure ubiquitous recognition. A Canadian same-sex marriage is unlikely to be recognised in Uganda or Iraq for the forseeable future.

    But marriage is by far the best way to ensure that couples get the maximum level of recognition available in each jurisdiction.

    Firstly, marriage has been long established as a transnational status, so in countries where marriage is permitted, foreign marriages are automatically recognised. Civil unions and domestic partnerships (even ‘everything but the name’ unions like the UK’s CPs) are not recognised as equivalent unless specific rules are agreed or legislation is passed.

    Secondly, in countries where civil unions or DPs are permitted, civil servants evaluating equivalence between different countries’ recognition arrangements know that ‘marriage’ automatically means a degree of legal interconnectedness equal to or greater than their own partnerships, whereas each country’s civil union or DP has to be assessed individually for equivalence. Hence, if any foreign arrangement is going to be recognised from the get-go, it’s marriage.

    Thirdly, where it is necessary to go to court to get a foreign arrangement recognised, if there is any status which is likely to lead to a successful or partially successful legal case, it’s marriage. This is true whether the case leads to the country recognising the marriage as a DP (like Germany in this case) or whether it leads to full foreign marriage recognition (like Israel). A future successful European Court or ECHR legal case is also likely to relate to marriage, not a union, CP or DP.

    Fourthly, over 200 million people around the world now live in same-sex marriage jurisdictions – about three times as many as live in the UK – and that number is only likely to increase. Everyone in the same-sex marriage bloc will benefit from the legal efforts of every other married couple. At least according to this Pink News article, all married same-sex couples in Germany are now considered to be in a German DP. Couples in idiosyncratic national arrangements are not automatically covered.

    For the UK government to lobby for specific recognition of CPs in every country which gives some recognition to partnerships is a waste of time and money. Changing the name to marriage will not guarantee recognition everywhere, but it is the best way to ensure access to whatever benefits are available in a particular jurisdiction. For bi-national couples and those whose jobs require international mobility, marriage is very important.

  8. Well said, atalanta.

    And oatc, I get what you’re saying regarding religion, but – forgive my ignorance – doesn’t the EU have laws banning discrimination based on sexuality? I don’t understand how my straight friends could go to Canada and get married and return to the UK, yet if I and my girlfriend did the same our marriage would immediately be downgraded to a CP purely because of our sexuality.

  9. No 6: Merlyn: “Thank Goddess I married in Canada and did not go the Civil Union or DP route!”

    Well if you are ever unlucky enough to have to move to the UK or Germany, then thanks to the Apartheid regimes in those countries, your marriage will be regarded as a civil partnership.

  10. Tim Hopkins 17 Jun 2010, 12:10pm

    Spanner (3), the reason people mention international recognition as a reason for preferring same-sex marriage to civil partnership is not that every country recognises same-sex marriage. As is clear from this report, and as you say, most countries don’t.

    But more countries recognise each other’s same-sex marriages than recognise each other’s civil partnerships, civil unions, registered partnerships, domestic partnerships etc.

    There is well-established international law for recognising other countries’ marriages. I’m pretty sure that every country with S-S marriage recognises S-S marriages from every other country that has them. And a few countries that don’t provide them themselves, like Israel, recognise foreign S-S marriages as marriages.

    For civil partnership type arrangements, it’s not the case that every country that has them recognises the equivalent from other countries. The UK is an exception – we are very good at recognising other countries’ CPs (or equivalent) as CPs here, but other countries don’t do so well.

    So same-sex marriage scores better on this than CP!

  11. Atalanta / Tim Hopkins: I stated in my post I fully support the idea of gay marriage, rather than the faux compromise of CP, but my point was everyone seems to think that if marriage becoames the norm in the UK, then same sex amrriages will be automatically accepted elsewhere, which is blatantly not the case.

    There are a million reasons for having equal gay marriage rights, but acceptance by other countries is not one of them.

  12. Mihangel apYrs 18 Jun 2010, 10:20am

    I think that you would agree that acceptance by other countries is not of them if you were in France (say) and your CP was taken ill. Unless you had documentation acceptable in France you would have no rights as next of kin. As a SSM partner you would have “married” rights. That is a reason why it may only be the million and first to youi , but to me it is slightly higher on the list

  13. Mihangel apYrs 18 Jun 2010, 1:53pm

    ahem, I meant
    “acceptance by other countries IS one of them”

  14. It’s interesting becuase they already recognised the British cp as the equivalent of their own German ones

  15. this website is useful it tells you (ie CPs ) which countries give you equivalent rights to their own civil unions/partnerships/marriages)

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