In a significant blow to anti-gay German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, Germany's highest court ruled today that same-sex couples are entitled to the same tax benefits as married opposite-sex couples.
The Federal Constitutional Court in the south German city of Karlsruhe ruled that treating opposite-sex marriages and same-sex civil partnerships differently under German tax law violated the constitution, and ordered that tax law be changed retroactively to the date in 2001 that Germany instituted civil partnerships.
Der Spiegel reports:
The move had significant political support. All parties in the parliament, with the exception of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), had recently called for such equal treatment.
Reuters added that the CDU and CSU worry that "conservative values are being diluted."
Guido Westerwelle, an openly gay German politician and former Vice Chancellor of Germany, hailed the ruling, saying that it was time "for German tax law to be as modern as its society."