New German coalition ignores LGBT rights

New German coalition ignores LGBT rights

Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Horst Seehofer (CSU)

Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Horst Seehofer (CSU)

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.

During the election campaign, the conservative parties were the only major parties to oppose marriage equality. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has repeatedly stated that her party would not introduce gay marriage or grant gay couples the right to adopt children, even though a clear majority of Germans support these demands and Germany’s Constitutional Court is expected to rule in favour of full adoption rights in the near future.

The Social Democrats as well as the socialist Left Party, the Green Party and Merkel’s former coalition party, the Liberals, have supported equality. In theory, gay rights issues have a majority in the next Bundestag. But as in the previous parliament there will be no free vote. There were some improvements in the last four years, but they were mostly dictaded by the Constitutional Court.

German LGBT group LSVD has criticised the agreement. Gay activists point fingers at the SPD, because the party has promised “100 per cent equality” during the election campaign. SPD party members still have to approve the agreement with a simple majority.


  • Why is Germany, generally considered so progressive, so backwards on the issue of full gay equality? Hard to understand. It is time of German LGBT activists to step it up and demand their rights like in the United States. Time to form alliances with HRC and others. This is a stain on German social progress.

  • Dennis Rowbotham

    I have a home in England and Germany, my
    Husband has died his grave is in Germany
    When I return to Germany since same sex full marriage in England I feel as though I am returning to the country of the Hitler era where the gay residents are
    second class citizens where the have to cross the borders to get married or adopt children. Germany should be ashamed do they want to forget their past. Until we
    receive equal rights in Germany I will wear my pink triangle badge. Same sex marriage has improved society in England and has educated most of society.

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