New, old debate

The push by German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries (SPD) to equalize adoption rights for homosexual couples is meeting with opposition from the CDU/CSU. "The proposal is solely about the self-realization of lesbians and gays and not about the well-being of children," Volker Kauder (CDU), chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. Zypries, on the other hand, received support from the FDP, the Left and the Greens.

The justice minister had called Thursday for allowing homosexual couples to adopt children as well. So far, the path of adoption is open only to one partner in the relationship. Zypries refers to a study according to which children in same-sex partnerships grow up just as well as in heterosexual relationships."There are also other scientific findings," Kauder countered. "Full adoption rights for gays and lesbians go against the interests of children."CSU legal expert Norbert Geis told the Bild newspaper that such an adoption would not be in the best interests of the child. "The child needs father and mother as a reference person and not father and father – especially as an adopted child!"The secretary general of the CSU, Alexander Dobrindt, accused Zypries of instrumentalizing the ie. The "Suddeutsche Zeitung" quoted Dobrindt as saying that it was perplexing that she was now pulling the study out of a hat. Adoption is "too sensitive a subject to campaign on".In the ranks of the CDU and CSU, only the "Association of Lesbians and Gays in the Union" spoke out in favor of the Justice Minister's proposal. "We are, of course, in favor of giving same-sex couples full adoption rights," association spokesman Dirk Braitschink told the "Frankfurter Rundschau" newspaper. He is confident that the CDU/CSU will move on this ie.Support for Zypries also came from opposition parties in the Bundestag. According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, FDP family expert Ina Lenke said that a coalition with the CDU/CSU would require a lot of work. Time is overripe to give homosexual couples more rights, he said. Volker Beck, parliamentary director of the Green Party, criticized in the newspaper that the Union's image of the family is "backward and out of touch with reality". Lutz Heilmann, a member of parliament for the Left Party, told the newspaper: "The idea that children are best off in a man-woman relationship is medieval."

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