German Chancellor Caves to Conservatives on Gay Rights

Angela Merkel is feeling pressure from both sides on the issue.

BY Neal Broverman

March 04 2013 7:48 PM ET

Chancellor Merkel

German chancellor Angela Merkel is not endorsing an expansion of gay rights, even though members of her Christian Democratic party are.

Merkel is under pressure to take a stand after German's high court ruled that gays should be allowed to adopt their partner's adopted children; previously they could only adopt their partner's biological children. There was momentum among some in Merkel's party to introduce new laws that would equalize tax laws for same-sex couples — some believed Merkel and her peers were hoping to broaden the party's base among more liberal voters — but social conservatives among the Christian Democrats cried foul. At a party meeting on Monday, the CDs confirmed they would stick with the status quo when it came to LGBT rights.

Germany legalized civil unions in 2001, but marriage equality remains elusive. The nation's high court will rule this summer on broader tax benefits and rights for gay couples.

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Tags: World

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