Germany proposes futher rights for gay couples
June 07, 2004
BERLIN — Germany is considering extending more rights to gay couples,
three years after first recognizing same-sex partnerships, Justice
Minister Brigitte Zypries said in a weekend newspaper interview.
German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries |
Photo - AFP
"Lesbian and gay couples are a social reality in Germany,"
Zypries told the daily Berliner Zeitung.
"That is why we also want to grant them, to the extent it
complies with the constitution and its unique protections of
marriage and family, the same rights as married couples."
Zypries, a member of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social
Democrats, said that the center-left government planned to expand
the 2001 legislation that gave homosexual couples the chance to
register their partnerships and receive some of the rights and
privileges of marriage.
"Just as with failed marriages, lesbians and gays would have to
financially support their former partners if they separate,"
Zypries said of the proposed draft law.
She said the bill, to be presented to parliament by the ruling
coalition parties later this year, would also ensure inheritance
rights for surviving partners and allow gays to adopt the
biological children of their partners.
Volker Beck, the legal affairs spokesman of the Greens, the
junior party in the governing coalition, said the bill would not
have to pass the Bundesrat upper house of parliament, where the
conservative Christian Union parties hold a majority.
He said the government also aimed to present before the end of
the year an additional draft law, subject to Bundesrat approval,
granting tax benefits to gay couples in a registered partnership.
The announcements came as the center-right government in
neighboring France vowed to keep gay partnerships restricted to a
civil contract known as PACS that took effect in 1999, which
confers some but not all the rights of a marriage, after a renegade
mayor presided over the country's first gay wedding. – Sapa-AFP
Berlin gets first gay old age home [11/03/2004]