German top court boosts gay couples' pension rights

23rd October 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Constitutional Court ruled that the office that handles the pensions of government employees should follow the practices of the private sector, which does not differentiate between married couples and common law partners.

Karlsruhe -- Germany's Constitutional Court reinforced the rights of gay couples Thursday by granting the common law partner of a government employee the same right to inherit a pension as a spouse.

The Gay and Lesbian Federation of Germany welcomed the ruling as a "breakthrough."

The Constitutional Court ruled that the office that handles the pensions of government employees should follow the practices of the private sector, which does not differentiate between married couples and common law partners.

The court's decision will benefit same-sex couples since Germany has not legalised gay marriages.

The case was brought by a government employee whose arguments had been rejected by several lower courts before reaching the top court based in the western city of Karlsruhe.

AFP/Expatica

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