German Court: Gay Marriage Is Only 'Partnership'

"A Berlin court declined to set a precedent by recognizing a gay marriage performed in Canada, ruling Tuesday that the union would only be considered a civil partnership in Germany."

Melissa Eddy reports:
Andreas Boettcher, a 37-year-old German event manager, married his Spanish partner, a dancer and choreographer, in Montreal in July 2006.

He asked a Berlin administrative court to recognize the relationship as a marriage after local authorities listed him as "single" on his registration card in November, despite his Canadian marriage certificate and a family registry entry from Spain that names him as the husband of his partner.

The German court said a same-sex marriage abroad is to be legally considered a civil partnership in Germany.

German law defines marriage as exclusively between men and women, but does allow civil partnerships between same-sex couples.

Boettcher said he accepted the ruling, although it fell short of his goal.

"I could fight it, but it would take a lot of time and a lot of money," he said. "At least, I have reached the minimum."
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