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Germany passes legislation extending rights for same-sex couples

[JURIST] The upper house of the German Parliament, the Bundesrat, passed legislation Friday that greatly expands the rights of same-sex couples. The bill will create the equivalent of spousal privilege between same-sex partners, allows for the adoption of a partner's child (although general adoption is still prohibited), creates a financial obligation between partnerrs that could result in alimony following a split of the couple, and allows access to assets following the death of a partner. The legislation is set to take effect in January 2005. The law still must pass through the lower house, the Bundestag, but opponents only have enough votes to slow it, not block it. Following Bundestag approval, the law must be signed by German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Deutsche Welle has more.

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