The German football player Thomas Hitzlsperger has announced that he is gay on Wednesday, making him one of the most high-profile footballers to do so. In an interview with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, the 31-year-old said he wanted to “take the discussion around professional athletes and homosexuality forward”.Read More
After years of lobbying Berlin finally has a street to honour Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, maybe the first gay rights pioneer of the world. On Tuesday, a part of Einem Street was officially renamed to Karl Heinrich Ulrichs Street.
Karl von Einem was Prussian war minister from 1903 until 1909. He demanded a prosecution of homosexual men and later supported the Nazis. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs on the other hand is seen as a pioneer of gay rights in 19th century Germany. He campaigned for the legalisation of homosexuality until his death in 1895.
For administrative reasons, only the part of the street that is located in the district of Tempelhof-Schöneberg was renamed, while the city centre district still has to go through a process of public participation. This is expected to wrap up in a couple of months.
Munich, Bremen and Hanover already have streets or places named after Ulrichs. The new street in Berlin is situated close to the gay scene around the Nollendorfplatz. Ulrichs was a forerunner to the more famous sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, who already has a street named after him: The Magnus Hirschfeld Ufer, a bank on the river Spree opposite the German Chancellery where his Institute for Sexual Research once stood.
German president Joachim Gauck will not visit the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014. As magazine “Der Spiegel” reports, his office already told russian officials of this decision in the last week. According to the report, human rights abuses and the repression of the opposition in Russia were his reasons, with “Der Spiegel” mentioning the recent anti-gay laws in Russia.
But the magazine gives no direct quote from Gauck – and his office on Sunday denied a boycott, also stating that the previous president did not visit the Winter Olympics in Vancouver either. German chancellor Angela Merkel had previously spoken out against a boycott of the Olympics.
The leaders of the three political parties forming a new grand coalition government in Germany on Wednesday signed a preliminary agreement that gay rights activists call “disapointing”.
The conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed upon a chapter entitled “Respect Sexual Identity”. However, it mainly includes non-binding statements of intent. It does not include marriage equality or further equalization of the rights of gay domestic partners with heterosexual spouses.Read More
Wanja Kilber, a gay activist from german-russian LGBT group Quarteera, has used a speech from Yelena Mizulina in Leipzig last Saturday to protest her homophobic stance.
Kilber went to the stage – with artificial blood on his hands and a rainbow flag – and shouted in Russian and German: “Mizulina has the blood of young gays, lesbians and transsexuals on her hands”. He was then removed by security, whilst the unshaken author of the russian law against “gay propaganda” continued her speech.
Mizulina had visited the conference by right-wing magazine “Compact” together with other homophobes from Russia and France. Speakers included Beatrice Bourges, who radicalized the french movement against gay marriage.Read More
The Conference, titled “For the Future of the Family”, is organized by right-wing conspiracy magazine Compact in cooperation with the french-russian think tank Institut de la Démocratie et de la Coopération based in Moscow, Paris and New York. It already held a congress with Mizulina in France and supported the national movement against gay marriage, Manif pour touts.
Béatrice Bourges, one of the most influential spokespersons of the “Manif”-movement, who later got thrown out of the group because of her violent rhetoric, is also set to speak in Germany amongst other anti-gay and islamophobic speakers.Read More
In the German national elections on Sunday chancellor Angela Merkel won a decisive victory but failed to reach an overall majority.
Final results give Merkel’s conservative party 311 out of 630 seats in the Bundestag. The CDU/CSU alliance now has to form a coalition government with either the Social Democrats (192 seats) or the Greens (63 seats). The Left Party gained 64 seats, but all other parties have ruled out working with the socialists. The election has consequences for some prominent gay politicians.Read More
Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out a joint adoption law for gay and lesbian couples. In a Q&A session with possible voters on public broadcasting channel ARD, Merkel on Monday said that she was against discrimination: “People in same sex relationships also live values.”
But asked about her opposition on gay adoption by a gay man in the audience, Merkel said she was “unsure” about giving gays and lesbians the right to adopt, stating that she herself would not bring a motion forward in this matter.Read More
Germany’s obsession with model railways has led to a spectacular exhibition on LGBT rights.
German artist Detlef Lehmann created six scenarios featuring gay prides on a 1:87 scale. It all starts in New York with the Stonewall riots.Read More
Over 5.000 protesters marched through the streets of Berlin on Saturday demanding an end to the russian law that bans gay “propaganda”. Protesters walked several kilometres through Berlin city centre to the Russian embassy, where speeches were held.
The protest titled “Enough is enough” was organized by a group of friends and found huge support from Berlin’s gay scene and politicians. It was the biggest LGBT protest outside pride festivities for years.
Openly gay Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit on Friday had written a letter to his Moscow counterpart Sergey Sobyanin demanding an end to an atmosphere that created fear instead of tolerance. Berlin and Moscow are twinned.
Next Sunday people in Berlin and some other german citys will join in the global protest “To Russia with love“, with kiss-in protests planned in front of russian embassys and consulates.
- Berlin: Tausende bei Demo “Enough is Enough” (01.09.2013)