A top court in Germany ruled Thursday that same-sex unions must be granted the same tax benefits as heterosexual marriages, a significant win for gay rights activists who have been pushing for the right for years.
The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe issued the decision based on concerns of discrimination. The judge said that treating the types of partnerships differently based solely on tax reasons is a violation of Germany’s equal rights laws, The Associated Press reported.
The ruling marks a defeat for the government.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has steadfastly voiced her objection to the benefit for same-sex couples.
The court also ordered that the government retroactively enact the new tax benefit, back to 2001 when civil unions were first recognized, AP reported.