Punda Malidadi

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Germany and same sex marriage

After quite a few occasions of reading in newspapers that Canada was the third or fourth(somebody refresh my memory) country to introduce same sex marriage, and me reacting to that slightly confusedly because I was absolutely sure gay couples could get married in Germany too, I finally did some research.

I was almost right. Yes, since 2001, they can get married, like everybody else, in a civil ceremony(in Germany there is always a civil ceremony, which is legally binding, and sometimes a religious one, for the fluff and the tears, or whatever reason people do it for). They get the same benefits as heterosexual couples when it comes to inheritance, health insurance, tenancy and welfare benefits- however, not when it comes to taxes. Funny how Germany doesn't want them to have tax benefits, when Canada gave tax benefits on a common law basis to same sex couples a long time ago(you can even get your foreign same-sex common law partner permanent residence and eventually citizenship), but minds if they call themselves "married".

Oh, and another tidbit about how scarily similar my home-Bundesland(federal state, literally, or province) Bavaria is to Alberta:

In Munich, the capital of Bavaria, gays demonstrated in front of the town hall against the state's attempts to block the law. Bavaria and the eastern state of Saxony have so far been unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade the federal constitutional court to rule against it.
But as the law went into effect it did not escape fierce criticism from some conservatives, who said gay partnerships undermined traditional family values.

I better not move again any time soon. Looking at the pattern, I'll probably end up in Texas.


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