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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.
The Nazi additions were repealed in East Germany in 1950, but homosexual relations between men remained a crime until 1968.
West Germany kept the more repressive version of the law, legalising male homosexual activity one year after East Germany, in 1969.
The law was extended under Nazi rule, and convictions multiplied by a factor of ten to about 8,000 per year.
Penalties were severe, and 5,000 – 15,000 suspected offenders were interned in concentration camps, where most of them died.
On 11 August 1987, the East German Supreme Court affirmed that "homosexuality, just like heterosexuality, represents a variant of sexual behavior.
Homosexual people do therefore not stand outside socialist society, and the civil rights are warranted to them exactly as to all other citizens".
However, in 1871, the year the federal German Empire was formed, Paragraph 175 of the new Penal Code recriminalised homosexual acts.
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Germany have evolved significantly over the course of the last decades.
Same-sex marriage has been legal since 1 October 2017, after the Bundestag passed legislation giving same-sex couples full marital and adoption rights on 30 June 2017.
Prior to that registered partnerships were available to same-sex couples, having been legalised in 2001.
The law initially required them to undergo surgical alteration of their genitals in order to have key identity documents changed. Despite two of the three main political parties in the German Government being socially conservative on the issues of LGBT rights, Germany has frequently been seen as one of the most gay friendly countries in the world.