A German court on Tuesday ruled that a same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] performed abroad must be recognized as a registered partnership in Germany. An administrative court in Berlin held that the marriage must be treated legally as a registered partnership [AFP report], after finding that authorities could not recognize the relationship as a marriage due to the requirement of different sexes for marriage under German law. The case came to the court after Andreas Boettcher was listed as single on his registration card. He initiated the case in order to compel local authorities to recognize his four-year-old Canadian marriage. Boettcher expressed disappointment [AP report] with the outcome, but has stated that he will not seek to have it overturned. Germany has recognized registered partnerships between same-sex couples, a legal relationship that offers the same benefits of marriage excepting tax benefits and joint adoption rights, since 2001.
In March, the Berlin government, sought to introduce legislation [DK report, in German] in the Bundesrat [official website, in German] that would legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. In October, Germany's Constitutional Court [official website, in German] ruled that surviving partners in a registered civil partnership have a right to collect [JURIST report] under the occupational pension scheme for civil service employees. Last week, the Icelandic Althingi [official website, in Icelandic] unanimously passed legislation [JURIST report] legalizing same-sex marriage. In May, Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva [official website, in Portuguese] signed a bill [JURIST report] that legalizes same-sex marriage but stops short of allowing same-sex couples to adopt. Same-sex marriage is also recognized in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway [JURIST reports], while several other countries, including the UK and France, recognize civil unions between same-sex partners. Same-sex marriage has also been recognized nationwide in Canada and South Africa, and in jurisdictions in Mexico and the US [JURIST reports].