court decisions

Legal Foreign Marriages Are Just ‘Civil Partnerships’ in Germany

Andreas Boettcher, a German, married his now-husband, who is Spanish, in Montreal in 2006. They have been together for 17 years. But he received in November a German registration card listing him as “single,” despite his married status, so he took the matter to court, which just ruled in his favor. While also ruling against him.

A Berlin court today ruled Germany must recognize his marriage, but only as a civil partnership. German laws define marriage — you guessed it — as between one man and one woman, but in 2001 introduced “registered partnerships” for gay couples.

Boettcher’s Canadian marriage, under the court’s ruling, should be considered a civil partnership and nothing more. He and his husband (who he chose not to identify), of course, were looking for the M-word. But the outcome is still better than what he would’ve received in U.S. courts: Absolutely nothing, thanks to DOMA.