Prior to that registered partnerships were available to same-sex couples, having been legalised in 2001.
These partnerships provided most though not all of the same rights as marriages, and they ceased to be available after the introduction of same-sex marriage.
Same-sex stepchild adoption first became legal in 2005 and was expanded in 2013 to allow someone in a same-sex relationship to adopt a child already adopted by their partner.
Discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity vary across Germany, but discrimination in employment and the provision of goods and services is in principle banned countrywide.
During the Cold War era, support for gay rights in Germany was generally restricted to the Free Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party and, later in the 1980s, the Green Party.