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Germany to equalize tax status for same-sex unions

BERLIN, June 9 (UPI) -- A bill granting equal tax status to same-sex couples will be introduced in the German legislature this week, a spokesman for the ruling coalition said Sunday.

The measure will grant same-sex partners the same tax benefits married heterosexuals enjoy.

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Volker Kauder, party whip for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, said the bill would be introduced in the Bundestag Friday and be scheduled for a vote June 28.

The Local.de called the measure a landmark step for gay rights in Europe and said German lawmakers are largely in favor of the move. Germany's justice minister said it was fair to include civil partnerships when considering legislation affecting marriage.

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