Laws

GERMANY

Limited information only available for these topics

Access to Children
Adoption of Children
Age of Consent
Anti-Vilification
Artifical Insemination
Assisted Reproduction
Asylum / Refugees
Bullying
  Civil Unions
Custody of Children
Discrimination
Estates, Wills
Fostering Children
Gender Identity
Harassment
Hate Crimes
  Health, Medical
HIV/Aids
Homosexuality
Immigration
Inheritance, Succession
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
Marriage
Military
  Parenting
Partners
Property
Sodomy
Taxation
Transgender, Transsexual
Violence
Wrongful Death

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Age of Consent Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is lawful at aged fourteen (14) years however, if one party is in more than eighteen (18) years, it is an offence punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year [R1.1].


German Penal Code

§ 176 Sexual abuse of children

(1) Whoever commits sex acts on a person under fourteen (14) years of age (a child) or whoever permits to do the same to him, shall be punished by imprisonment from six months to ten years or, in less serious cases, by up to five years imprisonment or by fine.

§ 176a. Aggravated sexual abuse of children

(1) Sexual abuse of children in the cases referred to under section 176 subsections 1 and 2 shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one year where –

1. a person of more than eighteen years of age has full sexual intercourse with the child or performs similar sexual acts on the child or allows the child to perform such acts on him or her which involve physical penetration.

R1.1 Interpol: Sexual offences against children Spring 06 (Accessed 11 MAY 10)
Assisted Reproduction Technology
Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilisation
Surrogacy
Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [PARENTING]
1.

National

On 18 May 2017, the Parliament passed the ''Sperm Donor Registry Act'', which will allow children born by physician assisted artificial insemination to access their donors' information from 2018 onwards .

The law will establish a central registry of sperm donors with identifying information including their name, address, nationality, and place of birth. Children conceived by sperm donation will have the right to request this information once they reach 16 years of age. Parents may also claim this information on behalf of their children if they are less than 16.

Registry data will be stored at the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) in Cologne for 110 years, after which it will be deleted. Donors will be required to sign an informed consent form explaining the new requirements.

An amendment to the German Civil Code (BGB) has also clarified that donors are not considered legal fathers. Therefore, they are protected against claims for child support or inheritance from any children resulting from donated sperm [R1.1]

R1.1 BioNews: German Parliament passes the Sperm Donor Registry Act 30 MAY 17
Asylum, Immigration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Immigration

From 01 August 2001, under the Lifetime Partnership Act same-sex partners enjoy a unique immigration status, as opposed to unmarried or non-partnered foreigners [R1.2].

Previously:

In 2002, the federal parliament passed a bill, allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their unions with the state and granting these registered partners some immigration, and joint parenting rights, hospital visitation, health insurance, tenant and inheritance rights [R1.1].

2.

Asylum, Refugees

In late June 2012, the Bayreuth Administrative Court the rejected appeal of Samira Ghorbani Daneish, a 24-year-old Iranian lesbian, on the grounds that Daneish had not 'credibly established that she was in danger in Iran'. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had previously denied her asylum application [R2.5].

In August 2006, an Iranian woman won her fight to avoid deportation from Germany on the basis that she is a lesbian. The court found that the chance of "disproportionate or discriminatory punishment of a homosexual relationship between women is very high in Iran … because such a relationship is an absolute breaking of taboos, even worse than between men" [R2.4]

In October 1998, a lesbian who was jailed in Romania for her sexuality was given political asylum in the Federal Republic of Germany. She was granted refugee status under Article 16 of the German Constitution [R2.3].

In 1996, Hildesheim's Administrative Court ruled to withdraw refugee status from a Tajikistanian asylum seeker on the ground that the most Oleg S. risked under the Tajik criminal code was a two-year sentence [R2.2].

1951 UN Convention

A relatively new addition to the list of provisions enshrined in the 1951 UN Convention that entitles a person to apply for refugee status, "sexual orientation" owes its inclusion to a growing understanding in a handful of countries that lesbians and gays constitute a distinct social group. This article has been invoked to grant asylum to lesbians and gay men in Germany [R2.1].

R1.2 German Law Journal: Constitutional Court Upholds Lifetime Partnership Act 01 AUG 02
R1.1 Associated Press: German Court OKs Gay Marriage 17 JUL 02
R2.5 GayStarNews: German judge tells lesbian refugee: go back to the closet in Iran 30 JUN 12
R2.4 MCV: Iranian Lesbian Wins Asylum 10 AUG 06
R2.3 Melbourne Star Observer: Lesbian Granted Asylum in Germany 09 OCT 98
R2.2 Brother Sister: Refugee Denied Asylum 19 SEP 96
R2.1 Beirut Daily Star: For Some Young Lebanese Staying Means 'Life Will be Over' 12 OCT 01
Children: Access, Custody, Visitation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Under the Lifetime Partnership Act same-sex partners have visitation rights to children raised in the partners' home [R1.1].

R1.1 German Law Journal: Constitutional Court Upholds Lifetime Partnership Act 01 AUG 02
Civil Unions, Partners (Domestic/Registered) Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

In July 2002, Judges at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe voted 5–3 to back the registered partnerships law, which was challenged last year by Bavaria and two other states [R2.2].

On 01 August 2001, the Lifetime Partnership Act came into effect. Specifically, among other rights and obligations, Lifetime Partners:

  • are obligated to support and care for one another
  • may share property
  • may choose one name
  • possess visitation rights to children raised in the Partners' home
  • have standing with respect to the estate of a deceased Partner
  • have access to a Partner's social welfare benefits
  • enjoy a unique immigration status, as opposed to unmarried or non-partnered foreigners [R2.3].

Previously:

In October 2001, the Bavarian state assembly approved the registered partnerships measure to take effect Nov. 1. [R1.4].

Last November a bill was passed by the federal parliament, allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their unions with the state and granting these registered life partnerships some immigration, and joint parenting rights, hospital visitation, health insurance, tenant and inheritance rights but not the tax advantages open to opposite sex partners.

The German law provides for registered couples to share a last name if they choose [R1.3].

The law requires a court decision for a divorce [R1.2].

The Bill replaced an earlier broader plan that would have included tax and welfare benefits for gay couples [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 08 August 2012, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe released a ruling ordering that gay couples in registered civil partnerships must be treated exactly the same as married heterosexual couples with regard to land transfer tax [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 10 May 2011, the EU Court of Justice unanimously ruled in Jürgen Rõmer vs. City of Hamburg that the City likely violated European Law in providing higher pensions to retired married pensioners than to those in a same-sex registered partnership [C2.10], [R2.9].

On 03 March 2011, an Advocate General for the European Court of Justice reportedly issued an opinion to the court in the case Jürgen Rõmer vs. City of Hamburg which stated that same-sex couples must have access to the same employment benefits as married couples in every EU state, regardless of a state's constitutional laws [R2.8].

On 22 October 2009, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that civil partners of government employees are eligible to receive the same pension rights as their straight married counterparts [R2.7].

In April 2008, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg upheld a German court ruling that spousal and partnership rights are similar on the rights of same-sex partners to 'survivor pensions' [R2.6].


In April 2004, the federal labour court ruled that public employers must pay the same location allowances to homosexuals in registered in a life partnership (officially known an 'Eingetragenelebensgemeinschaft') as married couples [R2.5].


In August 2003, a court in Germany ordered a Roman Catholic congregation to compensate two gay men who were not allowed to hold their same-sex wedding reception in the church hall [R2.4].


In July 2002, Judges at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe voted 5-3 to back the life partnership law, which was challenged last year by Bavaria and two other states and rejected a complaint that it violates constitutional provisions protecting marriage and the family [R2.3], [R2.2].


In July 2001, Germany’s highest court cleared the way for the new law that granted same-sex couples a range of rights, that came into operation on 01 August 2001, rejecting requests from two conservative states for a delay [R2.1].

3.

Cities & Towns

In May 1999, seven lesbian and gay couples registered as long-term partners following the Social Democratic-led government in Hamburg approval of the registered partnership law in April 1999 [R3.1].

In 1998, the Senate of the City of Hamburg has decided to introduce a registered partnership for gay and lesbian couples [R3.2].

4.

Churches

On 15 November 2010, Bishop Johannes Friedrich of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria announced a ruling allowing gay and lesbian Lutheran ministers to live with their partners in parish parsonages, if they enter into a state-sanctioned civil union [R4.1].

R1.4 Planet Out: Bavaria Approves Same-Sex Partnerships 26 OCT 01
R1.3 San Francisco Chronicle: In Germany, Partners Legal for Life 02 AUG 01
R1.2 The Advocate: German Registrar's Offices Ready for Same-sex Unions 24 JUL 01
R1.1 The Advocate: Unions Bill Advances in Germany 11-13 NOV 00
C2.12 Case: BVerfG 1 BvL 16/11 (in German), 18 JUL 12
R2.11 DW: Top German court demands tax benefit for same-sex couples 08 AUG 12
C2.10 Judgment: Jürgen Römer v Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
R2.9 Leonard Link: European Court of Justice Rules for Equal Rights of Same-Sex Partners in Germany 10 MAY 11
Press Release: Judgment in Case C-147/08 Jürgen Römer v Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg PDF 45.87kb, 10 MAY 11
R2.8 C-Fam: European Court Could Rule Traditional Marriage Benefits Are Discriminatory 03 MAR 11
R2.7 PinkNews.co.uk: Germany gives pension rights to gay civil partners 22 OCT 09
R2.6 PinkNews.co.uk: Pension Victory for Same-sex Partners at Euro Court 01 APR 08
R2.5 Expatica: German Gay Marriage Laws Strengthened 30 APR 04
R2.4 Expatica.com: Catholic Parish Pays Up for Gay Wedding 07 AUG 03
R2.3 German Law Journal : Constitutional Court Upholds Lifetime Partnership Act 01 AUG 02
R2.2 Associated Press: German Court OKs Gay Marriage 17 JUL 02
R2.1 The Advocate: German Court Won't Block Couples Law 19 JUL 01
R3.1 Associated Press 7 Gay Couples Register in Germany 06 MAY 99
R3.2 TAZ (Die Tageszeitung): Registered Partnership in Hamburg SEP 98
R4.1 Huffington Post: German Church Allows Gay Pastors To Live With Partners 17 NOV 10

GayLawNet®™ "Exclusive" Sponsorship of this page IS available
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 15 May 2015, the Bundestag passed the so-called law for the adjustment of rights of life partners granting same-sex couples equal rights in regards to more than 20 other laws, including rental law and the code of civil procedure aiming to prevent discrimination in legislative texts. It does not grant same-sex couples full adoption rights or address the marriage equality issue [R1.4].

In May 2010, German political parties failed to reach an agreement over whether the Equality laws within the German constitution should be changed to include "sexual identity" [R1.3].

In 2006, discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity was made unlawful [R1.2].

In 2001, the small number of homosexuals still alive who survived Nazi concentration camps were urged to file claims for belated compensation being organised by the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM) [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

In August 2003, a court in Germany ordered a Roman Catholic congregation to compensate two gay men who were not allowed to hold their same-sex wedding reception in the church hall [R2.1].

R1.4 GayStarNews: Germany grants gay couples more rights, still refuses equal marriage 16 OCT 15
R1.3 PinkNews.co.uk: German politicians undecided on sexual identity clause 06 MAY 10
R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.1 Reuters: Nazi Gay Victims Urged to File Compensation Claims 18 SEP 01
R2.1 Expatica.com: Catholic Parish Pays Up for Gay Wedding 07 AUG 03
Estates, Inheritance, Property, Succession, Wills Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

Under the Lifetime Partnership Act same-sex partners may share property and have standing with respect to the estate of a deceased Partner [R1.2].

Previously:

In 2002, the federal parliament passed a bill, allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their unions with the state and granting these registered partners some immigration, and some joint parenting rights, hospital visitation, health insurance, tenant and inheritance rights [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 17 August 2010, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that the unequal treatment of straight and gay partners when it comes to inheritance taxes and exemptions is unconstitutional. The decision rendered relevant tax laws from between February 2001 and December 2008 invalid [R2.1].

R1.2 German Law Journal: Constitutional Court Upholds Lifetime Partnership Act 01 AUG 02
R1.1 Associated Press: German Court OKs Gay Marriage 17 JUL 02
R2.1 The Local: Gay couples gain equal inheritance tax standing 17 AUG 10
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual

[?]
Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 31 October 2013, it was reported that legislation allowing parents the right to choose their baby's gender on the newborn's birth certificate will go into effect on 01 November, creating legal recognition for people who identify as intersex, and for children who are born without a clearly determinable anatomical gender [R1.4].

On 10 September 2013, a transgender man reported gave birth to a baby in Neukölln Berlin, the first in Europe to do so. The transgender man physically gave birth on 11 April (quaere 18 March), but at his request, is listed as father and not mother to the baby boy in official records [R1.3]. See also: [C2.3], [R2.2].

On 17 August 2013, it was reported that legislative changes passed in May will allow parents to opt out of determining their baby's gender, thereby allowing those born with characteristics of both sexes to choose whether to become male or female in later life. Under the new law, individuals can also opt to remain outside the gender binary altogether - effective 01 November 2013 [R1.2].

In 1981, a specific the law was introduced in Germany to recognise the "new" gender after Gender Reassignment treatment [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 10 October 2017, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the provisions of civil status law are incompatible with the Basic Law's requirements to the extent that § 22(3) of the Civil Status Act (Personenstandsgesetz - PStG) does not provide for a third option - besides the entry ''female'' or ''male'', allowing for a positive gender entry. The Court called on the legislature to correct these violations [C2.12], [R2.11].

On 06 September 2017, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) denied a request by F2M transgender man Oscar Müller to be registered as the father of a child he conceived in 2013, ruling that whomever gives birth is considered a child's mother, claiming ''the roles of father and mother are not interchangeable'' [C2.10], [R2.9].

On 22 June 2016, the German High Court (Der Bundesgerichtshof) ruled that Personal Status Law does not allow registration of ''inter'' or ''divers'' as an indication of the gender of intersex in the birth register, and saw no reason to refer the matter to the Federal Constitutional Court [C2.8], [R2.7].

On 11 September 2012, the Federal Social Court in Kassel ruled that male-to-female transsexuals have a legal right to breast enlargement operations when hormone therapy fails to achieve an A-cup size and transsexual insurance policy-holders can make a claim [R2.6].

On 23 March 2012, Berlin's Kammergericht court ruled that 11-year-old Alex Kaminsky can be forcibly institutionalized in the Berlin Charité hospital, accepting a nurse's allegations that the mother had 'induced' the child's transsexuality [R2.5].

In January 2012, a local district court reportedly upheld the Berlin Youth Welfare Office's request to have 11-year old transsexual "Alex" taken from the mother's care and put into a psychiatric institution by her father. The case is on appeal to the regional court [R2.4].


On 11 January 2011, the Constitutional Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to require transgender people to undergo sterilization or gender-reassignment surgery before they can be legally recognized as a member of the other sex [C2.3], [R2.2].


In July 2008, Germany's Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the present law, stipulating that anyone who has been certified as transsexual will only be allowed to change their sex on their birth certificate if they are unmarried, is unconstitutional and gave the German government until August 2009 to change it [R2.1].

R1.4 EdgeOnTheNet: Parents Can Pick Babies' Gender on Birth Certificates 31 OCT 13
R1.3 TheInquisitr: Transgender Man Gives Birth In Germany, Birth Certificate Doesn't List A Mother 10 SEP 13
R1.2 GayStarNews: Germany will soon be the first European country to have three gender options on a birth certificate 17 AUG 13
R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.12 Order (in German): Constitutional complaint against the refusal to register the sex of intersex persons with the designation "inter" or "divers" in the birth register ("third sex") 1 BvR 2019/16 HTML 10 OCT 17
R2.11 Bundesverfassungsgericht: Civil Status Law Must Allow a Third Gender Option 08 NOV 17
C2.10 Decision (in German): Matter of Oscar Muller No. XII ZB 660/14 PDF 173.69kb 06 SEP 17
R2.9 NewNowNext: German Court Rules Transgender Man Can't Be His Biological Child's Father 27 SEP 17
C2.8 Decision (in German): In the Civil Status Proceedings No. XII ZB 52/15 PDF 126.23kb 22 JUN 16
R2.7 ReutersCanada: German high court rejects 'intersex' as third gender category 04 AUG 16
R2.6 TheLocal: Transsexuals have right to breasts 11 SEP 12
R2.5 GayStarNews: Trans child committed to mental institution 26 MAR 12
R2.4 The Local: Transsexual child could be sent to mental ward 10 FEB 12
C2.3 Federal Constitutional Court: 1 BvR 3295/07 (Press Release in English, Order in German) 28 JAN 11
R2.2 Bay Windows: German court blocks trans sterilization requirement 07 FEB 11
R2.1 PinkNews.co.uk: German Court Rules Forced Divorces for Trans People Unconstitutional 24 JUL 08
Health, Medical Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 June 2012, the regional court in Cologne ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, saying the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents” [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.2 Judgment: In the name of the people v. Dr. K 151 Ns 169/11 Word 32kb,
R1.1 The Australian: Circumcising boys for religion amounts to grievous bodily harm, German court rules 27 JUN 12
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [AGE OF CONSENT]
1.

National

On 22 June 2017, it was reported that the Parliament voted to quash the convictions of 50,000 gay men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law that remained in force after the second world war. An estimated 5,000 of those found guilty under the statute are still alive. It also offers gay men convicted under the law a lump sum of €3,000 (£2,600) as well as an additional €1,500 for each year they spent in prison [R1.5].

On 22 March 2017, Germany's Cabinet reportedly approved a bill that would annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-Second World War West Germany. The decision also clears the way for compensation for those still alive who were convicted under the so-called Paragraph 175 outlawing sexual relations between men [R1.4].

On 08 October 2016, it was reported that a draft law will be formally announced this month under which Germany will compensate more that 50,000 gay men who were jailed for their sexual orientation under Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code. The plan will see 30 million euros set aside to compensate those homosexuals who were convicted, compensation depending on ''concrete individual cases'' and having regard to sentence duration [R1.3].

On 17 May 2002, the Bundestag passed a supplement to the Act of Abolition of National Socialism, pardoning men with Paragraph 175 convictions under the Third Reich [R1.2].

On 17 May 1994, the repealing of Paragraph 175 came into effect [R1.2].

In 1988, homosexuality was decriminalised by the repeal of Section 175 of the Criminal Code in East Germany (GDR), and on 10 March 1994 in West Germany [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 12 March 2015, after a five minute hearing a Berlin Court imposed 1,350 euro fines on the father and two uncles of 18-year-old Muslim citizen Nasser El-Ahmad for abducting and depriving him of his personal freedom when he was a minor, in an attempt to force him into marriage with a woman despite his homosexuality. The Court did not deal with allegations of torture or forced marriage [R2.2].

On 10 May 1957, the Constitutional Court declared the homophobic law, better known as Paragraph 175, to be constitutional, solidifying its place in West German law. The law's scope was limited in 1969 [R2.1].

R1.5 TheGuardian: Germany to quash convictions of 50,000 gay men under Nazi-era law 22 JUN 17
R1.4 TheTelegraph: Germany to annul post-Second World War homosexuality convictions for thousands 22 MAR 17
R1.3 PinkNews: Germany to pay out 30 million euros in compensation to men convicted under historic gay sex laws 08 OCT 16
R1.2 DailyXtra: Germany's shame: Paragraph 175 and homosexuality 08 NOV 14
R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R2.2 Reuters: German court fines relatives for abducting gay Muslim 12 MAR 15
R2.1 New York Times: Old Homosexuality Laws Still Hang Over Many in Germany 04 MAR 13
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 28 August 2017, it was reported that whilst same-sex couples will be able to be married from October 2017, due to a technical glitch that will not be fixed until 01 November 2018, same-sex couples will still have to register as husband and wife when applying for a marriage license [R1.9].

On 21 July 2017, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced that he had signed into law a measure allowing same-sex marriage in Germany, meaning the first official weddings could take place in October [R1.8].

On 07 July 2017, Germany's equal marriage bill has been approved in the Bundesrat, meaning the president can now sign it into law. A vote was not necessary in the upper house of Germany's parliament, the Bundesrat, because no state challenged the draft legislation [R1.7].

On 30 June 2017, German MPs have voted (393-226 with 4 abstentions) to legalise same-sex marriage, giving gay men and lesbians full marital rights, and allowing them to adopt children. The German legal code will now read: ''Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex'' [R1.6].

On 15 January 2016, attendees of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, Germany's second-biggest territorial church controlling 719 parishes in West Germany, voted 211-7 in their synod to start marrying gay and lesbian couples [R1.5].

On 25 September 2015, the Federal Council (Bundesrat) approved by a majority of votes from representatives of the country's major political parties a bill to reform civil law recognising same-sex marriage. The bill must now be discussed at the Bundestag (National Parliament) [R1.4].

On 09 July 2012, the German parliament was reported to have rejected a proposal for same-sex marriage [R1.3].

In June 2004, Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries was reported to have said the government would introduce legislation allowing same-sex marriages before the end of the summer [R1.2].

In October 1999, the Green Party, a partner in the coalition government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, said that it would sponsor a bill that would recognize same-sex marriages [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 15 June 2010, a Berlin court declined to set a precedent by recognizing a gay marriage performed in Canada, ruling that a same-sex marriage abroad is to be legally considered a civil partnership in Germany [R2.1].

R1.9 GayStarNews: German same-sex couples will have to pose as 'man and woman' to get married 29 AUG 17
R1.8 TheLocalDE: Germany's first same-sex marriages expected in October 21 JUL 17
R1.7 DeutscheWelle: Same-sex marriage bill clears German upper house 07 JUL 17
R1.6 BBCnews: German MPs approve gay marriage in snap vote 30 JUN 17
R1.5 GayStarNews: 700 German churches vote to marry same-sex couples 15 JAN 16
R1.4 TheNavhindNews: German council approves same-sex marriage bill 26 SEP 15
R1.3 The European Magazine: Forbidden Love 09 JUL 12
R1.2 MCV: Gay Euro-Visions 18 JUN 04
R1.1 The Advocate: German Party to Press for Same-sex Marriage 05 OCT 99
R2.1 365Gay.com: German court: Gay marriage is only 'partnership' 15 JUN 10
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

General Inspector Harald Kujat has issued a six-page order entitled "How to Deal With Sexuality" banning sexist remarks, demands for sexual relations, the touching of another soldier's body in a sexually suggestive manner and pinups of naked women [R1.3].

The order also says, "The obligation for comradeship means tolerance for sexual practice and orientations which are not illegal and this accordingly means [for gay and lesbian] soldiers."

Previously:

In September 2000, the government reaffirmed that homosexuality is no "separate entry criterion" for military service. The defense ministry was to make it clear in army regulations the consequences of discrimination based on sexual orientation and offer advice for leaders in a brochure dealing with gay troops in the army [R1.2].

In June 2000, gay couples in which one partner serves in the German army were entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual couples and also allowed to live in the barracks together [R1.1].

R1.3 Planet Out: German Army Issues New Rules 24 JAN 01
R1.2 The Advocate: German Government: "Treat Gays As Equals" 02-05 SEP 00
R1.1 The Advocate: German Army to Accept Gay Couples' Cohabitation 22 JUN 00
Parenting, Adoption, Fostering Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 13 June 2014, the upper chamber of Bundesrat (parliament) passed legislation that allows a gay parent's new partner to become the legal guardian of a previously adopted child. Though barred from initiating adoptions, a same-sex partnership can legally take over biological children from one partner's previous heterosexual marriage [R1.4].

On 22 May 2014, effective immediately the Bundestag voted to give same-sex pairs the right to adopt their partner's child. As of January 2005, a person can adopt the biological child of their partner, but even after the latest reform, homosexual partners do not have the legal right to jointly adopt a child [R1.3].

On 31 October 2013, it was reported that legislation allowing parents the right to choose their baby's gender on the newborn's birth certificate will go into effect on 01 November, creating legal recognition for people who identify as intersex, and for children who are born without a clearly determinable anatomical gender [R1.2].

In 2000, the federal parliament has passed a bill, allowing gay and lesbian couples to register their unions with the state and granting these registered partners some immigration, and some joint parenting rights, hospital visitation, health insurance, tenant and inheritance rights [R1.1].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 September 2017, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) denied a request by F2M transgender man Oscar Müller to be registered as the father of a child he conceived in 2013, ruling that whomever gives birth is considered a child's mother, claiming ''the roles of father and mother are not interchangeable'' [C2.9], [R2.8].

On 19 December 2014, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe ruled that authorities must recognize gay and childless heterosexual German couples as the legal parents of a child born abroad using surrogacy procedures where the parents are recognised under the foreign law [C2.7], [R2.6].

On 21 February 2014, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe dismissed on procedural grounds a request from a Berlin district court to rule on allowing same-sex couples in civil partnerships the right to adopt children [R2.5].

On 23 October 2013, the Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof: BFH) in the southern city of Munich was reported to have ruled that same-sex couples in civil unions are entitled to the same state child benefits as married spouses [R2.4].

On 19 February 2013, Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that one member of a civil partnership should be able to adopt their partner's stepchild or adopted child, ordering Berlin to draft new legislation by next June. Until now, same-sex couples could only adopt their partner’s biological child [C2.3], [R2.2].

In August 2009, the Federal Constitutional Court confirmed that gay and lesbian people can adopt their partner's children but they cannot adopt children they are not related to [R2.1].

R1.4 IndependentOnline: German gays get more adoption rights 13 JUN 14
R1.3 TheLocal: Homosexual couples win limited adoption rights 23 MAY 14
R1.2 EdgeOnTheNet: Parents Can Pick Babies' Gender on Birth Certificates 31 OCT 13
R1.1 The Advocate: Unions Bill Advances in Germany 11-13 NOV 00
2. Courts & Tribunals
C2.9 Decision (in German): Matter of Oscar Muller No. XII ZB 660/14 PDF 173.69kb 06 SEP 17
R2.8 NewNowNext: German Court Rules Transgender Man Can't Be His Biological Child's Father 27 SEP 17
C2.7 Bundesgerichtshof: Decision No. XII ZB 463/13 (in German) PDF 201.96kb, 19 DEC 14
R2.6 DW: Limited win for surrogacy, gay parenthood in Germany 19 DEC 14
R2.5 PinkNews: German court declines to rule on joint adoption by gay couples 21 FEB 14
R2.4 GlobalPost: Same-sex couples entitled to same child benefits 23 OCT 13
C2.3 Decision: In the matter of the adoption of a previously adopted child of a spouse 1 BvL1/11, BvR3247/09 (in German), 19 FEB 13
R2.2 PinkNews: Gay adoption laws strengthened for civil partners 19 FEB 13
R2.1 PinkNews.co.uk: Germany's highest court confirms adoption by mother's lesbian partner 27 AUG 09
Taxation Legislation/Cases/References
1.

National

On 27 June 2013, the Lower House (Bundestag) overwhelmingly approved a measure to equalise tax breaks for couples in civil partnerships and heterosexual marriages. The Bill must now be passed by the Upper House (Bundesrat) [R1.2].

On 04 December 2012, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sided with those in her party, the Christian Democratic Union, who decided against treating same-sex couples the same as straight couples under tax law [R1.1].

See: Courts & Tribunals below [R2.4].

2.

Courts & Tribunals

On 06 June 2013, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that a taxation law, which did not extend to homosexual civil unions, went against the German Constitution's rule of equality and ordered that the new taxation law be applied to homosexual civil unions retroactively dating back to August 2001 [C2.5], [R2.4].

On 08 August 2012, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe released a ruling ordering that gay couples in registered civil partnerships must be treated exactly the same as married heterosexual couples with regard to land transfer tax [C2.3], [R2.2].

On 17 August 2010, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that the unequal treatment of straight and gay partners when it comes to inheritance taxes and exemptions is unconstitutional. The decision rendered relevant tax laws from between February 2001 and December 2008 invalid [R2.1].

R1.2 PinkNews: Germany's Lower House of Parliament approves equal tax breaks for civil partnerships 02 JUL 13
R1.1 The Advocate: Angela Merkel Says No to Repairing Inequality 05 DEC 12
C2.5 Judgment: 2BvR 909/06 (in German) 07 MAY 13
R2.4 Deutsche Welle: Top German court gives gay couples equal taxation rights 06 JUN 13
C2.3 Case: BVerfG 1 BvL 16/11 (in German), 18 JUL 12
R2.2 DW: Top German court demands tax benefit for same-sex couples 08 AUG 12
R2.1 The Local: Gay couples gain equal inheritance tax standing 17 AUG 10
Violence: Domestic Violence, Harassment, Vilification Legislation/Cases/References
1.

Courts & Tribunals

On 26 June 2012, the regional court in Cologne ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, saying the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents” [C1.2], [R1.1].

C1.2 Judgment: In the name of the people v. Dr. K 151 Ns 169/11 Word 32kb,
R1.1 The Australian: Circumcising boys for religion amounts to grievous bodily harm, German court rules 27 JUN 12

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