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Germany LGBT rights and marriage equality news

 

Germany: Anti-Marriage Equality Chancellor Keeps Her Job

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

UPDATE: Yep, she was re-elected.

German Chancellor Angela MerkelGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel will likely stay in power after elections on Sunday.

On Top Magazine reports:

“In the run-up to tomorrow we have defended our record,” Merkel said in a last-minute plea for votes. “And we have said what we want to do over the next four years. And we are asking the people to express their confidence in us. And that means casting both votes for the Christian Democratic Union. It is also clear that Germany can only do well in the long-term if all of Europe does well. This is why the stabilization of the Euro is not just a good thing for Europe, but it is also in Germany’s fundamental interest.”

One day, Germany will follow the rest of Western Europe and support full marriage equality.

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Germany: Third Gender Option Offered on Birth Certificates

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Germany - google maps

from Google Maps

The German Government will allow parents to leave the gender of their child blank on the birth certificate. Pink News reports:

From November this year, Germany will become the first country in Europe to introduce a third option for assigning gender on birth certificates, giving parents the choice to leave the child’s gender indeterminate. Der Spiegel reports that, from 1 November, birth certificates in Germany will have the option of selecting “blank”, as well as “male” or “female”. Parents who use the “blank” option will allow for their offspring, such as those born with characteristics of both genders, to decide on their gender identity in later life, or to opt out of the gender binary altogether.

It’s a welcome step forward for children born with unclear genders, allowing time for the child to determine his or her gender. It also makes you wonder if people, especially in these situations, should even have to choose one or the other?

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Germany: Evangelical Church Hosts First Gay Wedding

Monday, August 12th, 2013

GermanyIn a first for Germany, a gay couple was married in an evangelical church, though the marriage will not be recognized by the German government. Gay Star News reports:

The German Evangelical Protestant Church held its first same-sex wedding over the weekend according to reports in local media. The couple, Ruediger and Christoph Zimmermann, tied the knot in Seligenstadt near Frankfurt, Hessian state public radio reported. Germany does not yet recognize same-sex marriage so the ceremony will not change their legal status but the couple were already in a civil union.

Small steps which will lead to greater things in time.

Authored By Andrew Potts – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

Germany: Bill to Give Gay, Lesbian Couples Equal Tax Breaks Goes to Parliament

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

GermanyIn the wake of a court ruling a week and a half ago saying gay and lesbian couples were entitled to the same tax breaks married straight couples receive, there’s a bill to do so moving through the government. Pink News reports:

The German cabinet has adopted a bill granting same-sex couples in civil partnerships the same income tax benefit as married opposite-sex couples, which will now be considered by parliament. Married couples in Germany are allowed to use a “spousal splitting” tax break in which they pool their incomes and divide their earnings to calculate individual income tax. If the bill passes through parliament same-sex couples in civil partnerships would be able to use the same spousal splitting to pay less income tax, applying retroactively from 2001, when Germany introduced civil partnerships.

Nice that it would be retroactive. Will Germany ever consider full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples? That would seem to be the easiest fix.

Germany: Court Says Gay and Lesbian Couples Deserve Marriage Tax Breaks

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Germany - google maps

from Google Maps

The top court in Germany has ruled that the government must give the same tax breaks to same sex couples that it gives to straight ones. ABC reports:

The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that treating the two forms of partnership differently for tax purposes violates the country’s guarantee of equal rights. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right government had long resisted granting the same tax benefits to gay couples in civil unions. Those unions — officially certified by a notary and carrying similar rights and duties to wedlock — are widely accepted by Germany’s gay community as equivalent to marriage. Married couples in Germany are able to jointly declare their taxable incomes, which can significantly lower their overall tax burden especially when one partner has higher pay. The rule costs the government annually about 15.5 billion euros ($20 billion).

While it’s not marriage, it’s a significant advance that will have a positive financial effect for many same sex couples in Germany.

Pew Releases New Survey On Homosexuality in 39 Countries

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

titlePew Polling asked citizens in 39 countries what they thought about homosexuality. Joe.My.God reports:

Attitudes about homosexuality have been fairly stable in recent years, except in South Korea, the United States and Canada, where the percentage saying homosexuality should be accepted by society has grown by at least ten percentage points since 2007. These are among the key findings of a new survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1, 2013. The survey also finds that acceptance of homosexuality is particularly widespread in countries where religion is less central in people’s lives.

The countries with the highest rates of acceptance include Spain, Germany, and the Czech Republic, Canada, France, Australia, and Britain. The US is tied at 13th.

Pew Poll - Homosexuality