Blog post by Tushar M, HRC Global Engagement Fellow
A local court in the Bavarian region of Germany ruled that same-sex families have equal rights to access the government’s child support benefits as heterosexual married couples do. The Federal Fiscal Court in Munich ruled in favor of the plaintiff, a woman in a civil union with her same-sex partner, saying that their family is eligible for the larger amount of child support (215 EUR) that is granted to married couples in similar large family sizes.
Both women have two children each from earlier marriages, and under German laws families are entitled to a certain amount of child support, which increases with the size of the family. The court’s decision was based on a ruling made earlier this year requiring tax equality for same-sex couples, even though a lower court had earlier dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.
Although same-sex marriage is not yet legal in Germany, registered partnerships for same-sex couples have been legal since 2001, which provides most of the same rights opposite-sex married couples receive. Same-sex adoption has been legal since 2004, but joint adoption is still not legislated.
The current Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is part of the conservative Christian Democrats party, which is soon to enter into a formal coalition with the Social Democrats party, which has already promised to fight for an equality provision for same-sex couples in the new government accord. In a recent polling, 87% Germans believe homosexuality should be accepted in society.