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Germany: Gay rights expanded

Same sex couples granted tax right.

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A gay couple kisses during a protest in Munich, Germany on Aug. 1, 2001. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Germany ruled gay couples will have access to a land transfer tax exemption, according to CNN.

Deutsche Welle explains:

"When a member of a divorced couple buys a piece of previously jointly-owned real estate from the other, no taxes need to be paid." The court also ruled that gay couples who did not have access to the tax exemption in the past will be compensated.
Germany refers to same-sex marriages as a "registered partnership."

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has previously opposed tax equality for same-sex couples, according to Reuters.

But 13 CDU party members recently came out in favor of tax rights for same sex couples, saying "politics time and again has to be ordered by the constitutional court to abolish inequalities."

Family Minister Kristina Schroeder supported the 13 CDU lawmakers, saying it was the right moment to change the law, according to Reuters.

"The suggestion comes at exactly the right time. In homosexual partnerships, people take long-term responsibility for each other. They are living conservative values," Schroeder said.

Volker Beck, a leader of the Green party, which supports same-sex marriage, has called for Germany to give same-sex couples the right to marry, according to Deutsche Welle

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/120809/germany-gay-rights-expanded