Germany, Europe

Germany has become one of the most progressive European nations on the issue of gay rights. Homosexuality was legalized in 1969. The age of consent is now 16 for female-female, male-male and female-male activity. Homosexuals are not banned from military service. In the field of employment, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal throughout Germany. The country was the first in the world to include "gender identity" nationally in anti-discrimination laws. There is legal recognition of same-sex couples. Registered life partnerships (effectively, a form of civil union) have been instituted since 2001, giving same-sex couples rights and obligations in areas such as inheritance, alimony, health insurance, immigration and name change. In 2004, this act was amended to also give registered same-sex couples adoption rights (stepchild adoption only), as well as reform previously cumbersome dissolution procedures with regard to division of property and alimony--but do not enjoy the tax benefits of marriage. Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit is openly gay.

 

News & Reports:

 

Same-Sex Couples Wed in Germany as Marriage Law Takes Effect

Berlin — Cheers rang out in the City Hall of Berlin’s Schöneberg district on Sunday as two men, who met 38 years ago, when the German capital was a divided city, became the country’s first same-sex couple to legally marry. The couple, Bodo Mende, 60, and Karl Kreile, 59, were wed in a civil ceremony,… Read more »

Trump picks openly gay former diplomat and cancer survivor Ric Grenell as ambassador to Germany

Grenell was also considered as a possible envoy to both the UN and NATO His posting in Germany has to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate Grenell, 50, would be the first openly gay ambassador in Trump’s administration He’s a non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor and co-created a mobile app that helps cancer patients customize and track… Read more »

Germany to begin gay weddings in October

Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed the country’s equal marriage law. Equal marriage passed through the lower house in the German Parliament last month, after Chancellor Angela Merkel caved in to demands from opposition parties. The country’s right-wing Chancellor, who has blocked equal marriage for more than a decade, reversed her long-standing policy to allowed her own MPs to… Read more »

All of Germany’s Muslim MPs voted for same-sex marriage equality

After Angela Merkel claimed marriage should be ‘between a man and a woman’ It was the best news of last week: Germany finally followed its European neighbors by voting in favor of same-sex marriage equality on Friday morning. The snap vote showed 393 MPs voted in favor, while seven abstained or were absent. Meanwhile, the country’s leader Angela Merkel was one of 226… Read more »

Germany gay marriage approved by MPs in snap vote

A clear majority of German MPs have voted to legalise same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote. The reform grants couples now limited to civil unions full marital rights, and allows them to adopt children. Mrs Merkel’s political opponents were strongly in favour. But the chancellor, who signalled her… Read more »

Germany to quash convictions of 50,000 gay men under Nazi-era law

Parliament votes through measure overturning conviction and offering compensation to the estimated 5,000 men still alive Germany’s parliament has voted to quash the convictions of 50,000 gay men sentenced for homosexuality under a Nazi-era law that remained in force after the second world war. After decades of lobbying, victims and activists hailed a triumph in… Read more »

Germany won’t vote on same-sex marriage, despite overwhelming support

Germany’s parliament will not vote on same-sex marriage, despite an overwhelming majority of citizens supporting full equality. The highest court in the country has rejected an attempt by the Green Party to force a vote before September’s national election. The Federal Constitutional Court reported that it had rebuffed the Greens’ application yesterday for an injunction… Read more »

Germany welcomes gay man who fled Chechnya’s homophobic purge

Germany has welcomed a gay man who fled the purge of LGBT people in Chechnya. In April, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported on the campaign of homophobic persecution that had been launched in the region, which has autonomy from Russia. The journalists who uncovered the story had been forced into hiding after ‘Jihad’ was declared… Read more »

The hidden origins of the modern gay rights movement in World War I

Laurie Marhoefer, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Washington, writes about an unlikely spark for the gay rights movement. One of the World War I’s most enduring legacies is largely forgotten: It sparked the modern gay rights movement. Gay soldiers who survived the bloodletting returned home convinced their governments owed them something –… Read more »

Germany to overturn convictions of gay men prosecuted after war

Men who are still alive will get compensation for what they suffered under Paragraph 175 against homosexuality Germany’s cabinet has approved a bill to overturn the convictions of thousands of gay men who were prosecuted after the second world war. Gay men convicted between 1949 and 1969 who are still alive are expected to be… Read more »

World’s leading publisher of gay media, known for its sexy art books, goes bust

Bruno Gmünder also publishes Spartacus International Gay Guide, the world’s best-selling gay travel book A global market leader in LGBTI publishing has gone into administration. German publishing house Bruno Gmünder is best known for publishing Spartacus International Gay Guide, the world’s best-selling gay travel book, as well as sexy art books. Last week, it was… Read more »

Three men dead in Berlin gay sauna fire

There were 30 people inside the sauna at the time of the fire Three men died in a fire in a Berlin gay sauna. Firefighters were called to Steam Works, formerly Apollo Splash Club, at 22:23 on Sunday night (5 February). Speaking to Gay Star News Valeska Jakubowski, a spokesperson for Berlin Police, confirmed initial… Read more »

Holocaust Memorial Day: The lessons we should learn from the Nazi persecution of gay people

PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen reflects on the persecution of gay people by the Nazis as Britain marks Holocaust Memorial Day. If I was alive 75-year-ago and living in Berlin and not London, my outlook would not have been looking good and not just because I’m Jewish. Like some of those who found themselves in concentration… Read more »

Germany is the queerest country in Europe

Germany has the largest LGBT population in Europe, according to research. The news comes from Berlin’s Dalia Research, which published the results of a Europe-wide EuroPulse study, which interviewed 12,000 people across 28 EU countries. According to the study, reported by Vice.de Germany leads Europe in terms of LGBT population size, with 7.4% of Germans… Read more »

Germany will pay compensation to men convicted under historic gay sex laws

Germany will pay compensation to men who faced convictions under the country’s historic laws banning gay sex. The country initially banned gay sex in 1871, when a penal code was introduced criminalising homosexual acts – while they were extended under the Nazis to convict thousands of gay men and send them to concentration camps. However,… Read more »

Guido Westerwelle Dies at 54; German Foreign Minister Opposed Libya Incursion

Berlin — Guido Westerwelle, who served as Germany’s first openly gay foreign minister and kept his country out of NATO’s intervention in Libya, died on Friday in Cologne. He was 54. His foundation and the German government announced his death. The cause was complications of leukemia, which was diagnosed in 2014. Mr. Westerwelle was a… Read more »

Police lock down Berlin street after shots fired at LGBT museum

A museum in Berlin dedicated to LGBT history has been shot at by unidentified assailants. The Schwules Museum, which opened in 1985, is dedicated to exhibiting the city’s vibrant and long-thriving gay scene. In an official statement this week, the museum warned that it had identified what appear to be bullet holes, following a shooting… Read more »

Shelter for LGBT Syrian refugees to open in Berlin

A LGBT rights group in Germany is opening a new home in Berlin for gay refugees. The project by Schwulenberatung Berlin is in cooperation with the city council and will create shelter for over 120 people, reports euronews.com. The group behind the project say they decided to open the shelter due to abuse gay migrants… Read more »

How the Nazis got away with persecuting gay men long after the Holocaust

Allowed to return to their legal careers, former Nazis enforcing §175 turned gay men into fair game once again When World War Two ended, one of the prime concerns of the British, American and Russian forces was to liberate Germany and Austria of all traces of Nazism and the Third Reich. But despite concentration camps… Read more »

The near-forgotten history of the Holocaust’s gay victims

‘The singing forest. Inexplicable. Beyond human comprehension. And so much remains untold.’ Before Hitler rose to power in 1933, Berlin was a hub of gay life, in the midst of which one of the world’s first homosexual liberation movements slowly gained momentum. That would end with gay people swept up in the Holocaust. But even… Read more »

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

In Gay Berlin, Robert Beachy describes the rise of a gay subculture in the 1920s and ’30s, how it contributed to our understanding of gay identity and how it was eradicated by the Nazis.            Audio version of this interview Here Terry Gross, Host: This is Fresh Air. I’m Terry Gross.… Read more »

Germany: Out Berlin mayor to stand down

Berlin’s out mayor has announced that he is quitting at the end of the year, after 13 years in the role. The city’s Social Democrat mayor Klaus Wowereit – one of Germany’s first prominent gay political figures – has announced that he is to leave office two years early, over an ongoing row regarding the… Read more »

German court declines to rule on joint adoption by gay couples

Germany’s highest court has refused to rule on allowing same-sex couples in civil partnerships the right to adopt children. On Friday, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, south-west Germany, dismissed on procedural grounds a request from a Berlin district court to rule on the matter. Deutsche Welle reports the case was introduced by a gay couple… Read more »

Germany’s top court rules gay couples are banned from joint adoption

Despite the Constitutional Court ruling last year that gay couples could adopt together on a technicality, they have thrown out a referral asking them to rule on joint same-sex adoptions Germany’s top court has ruled gay couples are banned from joint adoption today (21 February), despite being allowed to on a technicality. The Constitutional Court… Read more »

Germany gets its first out lesbian cabinet minister

In low key fashion, Germany’s new Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks came out this week in a newspaper interview – making her the country’s first openly lesbian cabinet member. Ms Hendricks, a member of the Social Democrats for 20 years, mentioned in an interview with the Rheinische Post that she would “be spending New Year’s Eve… Read more »

Germany’s openly gay foreign minister loses seat and job

Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s first openly gay Foreign Minister, has failed to retain his seat in parliament, forcing him out of that role German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has lost that job after his party failed to gain enough of the vote to retain his seat in parliament. Westerwelle’s Free Democratic Party only received 4.8% of… Read more »

German court grants gay unions marriage tax breaks

Berlin(AP) – Gay rights campaigners won a victory over the German government Thursday as the country’s top court ruled that homosexual couples in civil unions should receive the same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples. The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that treating the two forms of partnership differently for tax purposes violates the… Read more »

Berlin Gay Museum is Moving

After over 25 years, the museum will leave its location at Mehringdamm 61 in Berlin-Kreuzberg to take up residence in a new building at Lützowstraße 73 in Berlin-Tiergarten. In spring 2013, the time will finally arrive: After an intensive two-year search for a suitable space, the museum is moving into a former printing house at… Read more »

Poll: Gay men take twice as many holidays

A new poll suggested gay men take double the national average number of holidays each year. Ipsos Mori polled 2,174 gay men for Gaydar and has released both the pattern for gay holidays and the most popular destinations. San Francisco was the most popular city, followed by Amsterdam. The resort of Gran Canaria came third… Read more »

German court tells lesbian asylum seeker to hide identity in Iran

A German court rejected the asylum application of Samira Ghorbani Danesh, an Iranian lesbian refugee who fled Iran in 2009, with the justification that she can hide her homosexuality in Iran and avoid criminal penalties. In a telephone interview on Thursday with PinkNews.co.uk, Katayun Pirdawari, who is a German-Iranian and a member of the Lesbian… Read more »

Last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust dies

The last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust has passed away in Berlin, just days before he was due to celebrate his 89th birthday, the Jerusalem Post reports. Gad Beck was an Zionist resistance fighter during the Second World War, and, in post-war Germany, a bold campaigner for gay rights when homosexuality was still… Read more »

Mr Gay World 2012 won by German man

The fourth Mr Gay World contest took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday. This was the first time that the contest included black African participants, whose involvement brought its own fraught set of problems. The title was taken by Andreas Derleth, a German man who lives in New Zealand and who beat 21 other contestants.… Read more »

Gay Germany News & Reports 2011

1 Modern gay rights movement born in 19th century Germany 3/11 2 New memorial to gay holocaust victims to be built in Munich 5/11 3 Rudolf Brazda, Last Gay Nazi Death Camp Survivor, Dies 8/11 4 Berlin’s Gay Mayor Klaus Wowereit Elected To Third Term 9/11 1 March 2011 – Fridae 1 Modern gay rights… Read more »

Gay Germany News & Reports 2010

1 Berlin – The Queer Capital 4/10 2 German court – gay man’s foreign marriage must is a partnership 6/10 2a Germany: Israelis, Iranians march together 7/10 3 Thousands celebrate Berlin’s gay pride parade 7/10 4 German government ‘ignoring gay youths’ needs,’ says Green MP 7/10 4a Cologne vies for title of Germany’s gayest city… Read more »

Gay Germany News & Reports 2007-09

1 German Boy Is Youngest Transsexual At 12 Years Old 1/07 2 From: YazBerlin 5/07 3 German Parliament Protests after Moscow Pride 6/07 4 Berlin memorial to persecuted gays 6/07 5 New documents reveal extent of Nazi persecution of gays 7/07 6 More Germans Respect Lesbian TV Host After Coming Out 11/07 7 Gay Nursing… Read more »

Gay Germany News & Reports 2003-06

1 German TV set to screen gay Blind Date 1/03 2 TheMusical Boys (Canadian) of Germany 3/03 3 Eastern gays seek Berlin refuge–including many Russians 5/03 4 Germany plans memorial to gay victims of Nazis 7/03 5 German gays condemn Vatican 8/03 6 Catholic parish pays up for cancelling gay wedding 8/03 7 Gay Nazi… Read more »

Gay Germany News & Reports 2000-02

1 German Apology to Gays for Nazis 12/00 2 German Army Issues New Rules for Sex Attitudes 1/01 3 Half a million join Berlin homosexual parade 6/01 4 Paris and Berlin Gay Mayors Celebrate Gay Pride 6/01 5 Documentary unveils Nazi brutalization of gays 7/01 6 German Gays to Exchange Vows 8/01 7 Did gay… Read more »