German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she supports equal rights for same sex couples, but doesn’t think their relationship should be called marriage.
In an interview with German You Tube personality Florian Mundt yesterday, Merkel said that she believed in ending discrimination and in the concept of civil partnerships and marital benefits for same sex couples. However, her personal view was that the designation of marriage only applied to a man and a woman.
She told the interviewer:
“For me, personally, marriage is a man and a woman living together. That is my concept, but I support civil partnerships”
She also stated:
“I support us not discriminating against them when it comes to taxes, and to remove any other discrimination wherever we may find it.”
Her statement has been met with confusion by some campaigners, including UK LGBT charity Stonewall who question how she can be anti-discrimination, but deny same sex couples the right to call their formal relationship a marriage.
Earlier in the year, the German government ruled out legalising gay marriage despite pressure from opposition parties in the wake of Ireland’s recent vote on the subject. Germany was one of the first countries to recognise civil partnerships in 2001.
In recent times there has been a marked international move to legally recognise gay marriage, culminating in last month’s landmark ruling in favour of gay marriage in the US Supreme Court.
The UK celebrated the first anniversary of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act on March 29 this year, and Guernsey has just completed a consultation with more than 1,600 islanders on their government’s plans for same sex marriage. Reports suggest that the majority are in favour of the policy proposals to introduce “a system where no-one would be unfairly discriminated against”. At present only heterosexual couples have legal recognition. Guernsey’s Policy Council will now present its proposals to its politicians ahead of next year’s election.