German constitutional court expands tax rights for gay couples
BERLIN, August 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Germany’s federal constitutional court ruled August 8th that homosexual partners registered with the state must be exempt from the land transfer tax, as are married couples. The ruling declared the difference unconstitutional.
The exemption applies in cases where when one member of a divorced couple buys previously jointly owned real estate from the other. The ruling comes in a case brought to the court by two homosexual men who “divorced” in 2009 and had asked the court to backdate the exemption.
The change comes at the prompting of 13 members of the Christian Democratic Union, the ruling party, who complained in a letter, “Politics time and again has to be ordered by the constitutional court to abolish inequalities.”
Kristina Schroder, Christian Democrat minister for family affairs told Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, “The suggestion comes at exactly the right time. In homosexual partnerships, people take long-term responsibility for each other. They are living conservative values.”
The German parliament is currently debating the appropriate changes to the tax system to accommodate registered homosexual partners, with some more “conservative” members of the CDU maintaining that there must continue to be a separation between gay partnerships and marriages.
Gerda Hasselfeldt, whip of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian “sister party” to the CDU and a coalition partner, said in a television interview, “The marriage of man and woman is under special protection because it is fundamentally oriented toward creating new life. This is not the case in homosexual relationships.”