With polls showing a large majority of German nationals favoring marriage equality. Germany’s Social Democrat opposition (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD )has changed its position and now fully backs marriage equality as of its national convention in early December 2011.
Germany currently has in place “registered life partnerships” for same sex couples (effectively, a form of civil union) since 2001, giving same-sex couples rights and obligations in areas such as inheritance, alimony, health insurance, immigration and name change but not tax benefits.
Ansgar Dittmar, National Chairman of lesbians and gays in the SPD (Schwusos), said that the party had decided that there was now no more legitimacy in maintaining two parallel institutions of marriage and life partnership with voting from the parties delegates being unanimous that they should seek to change German law should the party form the next government.
The Social Democrat opposition also voted unanimously to end discrimination in adoption laws.