A union between a man and a woman is still the definition of marriage in Germany; even though same-sex unions are recognised under the law. In fact, in response to proposals for similar tax treatment of married couples and same-sex unions, Angela Merkel’s ruling party rejected the idea and instead chose to reaffirm that, “the advancement and privilege of marriage between a man and woman as protected in the constitution.”
Though the German Chancellor said she welcomed respectful debate, she made it clear that she did not favour putting gay couples on the same tax footing as heterosexual ones because the constitution “sees marriage directly linked to the family and both are under the special protection of the state“.
For more on these proposals:https://franhendy.com/2012/08/21/same-sex-union-tax-squabble-2/
US Defence of Marriage Act
This presents an interesting contrast to the opinion of the U.S Supreme Court who in a 5-4 decision struck down the federal law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union, saying it violates the rights of married gay couples by denying them government benefits.
U.S Justice Anthony Kennedy, one of the four Democratic-appointed justices in the majority, commented that, “the law places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage. The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and whose relationship the state has sought to dignify.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-26/defense-of-marriage-act-provision-struck-down-by-top-u-s-court.html