Big victory today in Germany! The country's highest court ruled that gay couples in civil unions should receive the same tax benefits as married heterosexual couples.
According to The Associated Press:
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.
The court said that treating civil unions differently amounts to "unequal treatment because of sexual orientation." Failure to be vigilant in guaranteeing equality "leads to discrimination against a minority," it warned.
The court acknowledged that married couples enjoy special privileges because the partners also accept a strong responsibility for each other, including financial, but it argued that the civil union implies the same duties and responsibilities for gay partners.
The court ordered the government to retroactively amend the relevant laws dating back to 2001, when civil union status was first introduced by a previous centre-left government.
Equal taxation under federal law? Imagine that.
Hopefully we soon won't have to!