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Germany Celebrates 10 Years Of Civil Union Law While Debate On Gay Marriage Continues

Today Germany celebrates the 10th anniversary of the recognition of same-sex civil unions while the debate on legalizing gay marriage continues.

DW World has the story:

Germany marked 10 years on Monday since the introduction of the civil union law allowing same-sex couples to have their relationships officially recognized by the state.

Since then, over 23,000 gay and lesbian couples have walked down the aisle, so to speak, at local registry offices around the country to pledge to spend their lives together. Gay couple Wolfgang and Werner Duysen are taking stock of the registration law, as well as their own upcoming 10th wedding anniversary.

The Duysens had actually wanted to be among the very first in Germany to celebrate their union after the passing of the partnership law. Had they had it their way, they would have tied the knot on August 1, 2001, the very day the law came into force. Due to a minor hiccup, however, they had to wait a short while until their registry office in the town of Pinneberg in Schleswig-Holstein state was sent the updated software to officially allow their union.

On the same day of this celebration the leading German conservatives have decided to rule out the legalization of gay marriage. The Local has the report:

Leading German conservatives have ruled out putting same-sex partnerships on the same footing as marriage, dousing an effort by Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger to put gay marriage on the agenda.

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, of the liberal Free Democratic Party, the conservatives? junior coalition partner, sided at the weekend with opposition parties in calling for more rights, even full marriage recognition, for gay couples.

But senior lawmakers from Angela Merkel?s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union have knocked back the calls.

?There are differences between marriage and equal rights for same-sex partnerships. And those must be reflected in the law,? the CDU-CSU deputy parliamentary leader G?nter Krings told the daily Neue Osnabr?cker Zeitung.

Read more via DW WORLD