German president won’t visit Sochi Olypics
Joachim Gauck (Photo: Energie Agentur NRW / cc by 2.0)
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.
New German coalition ignores LGBT rights
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.
German elections: Gay foreign minister loses seat, job
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.
Angela Merkel opposes LGBT rights in TV debate
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.
Photos: Gay pride in miniature format
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.
Meningitis vaccination recommend for gay men in Berlin
Berlin health authorities are asking gay men to get vaccinations against bacterial meningitis.
In an unprecedented step, the city government of the German capital has recommended shots for homosexuals in Mid-July. The recommendation comes two weeks after the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported three meningitis deaths in Berlin within the gay community, with a fourth young man lying in a coma.
The men, all under 25 and hiv negative, contracted the bacterial infection in february or may. Meningitis can be spread by sneezing, coughing, sharing utensils or kissing.
Within the last weeks, officials in France and Belgium also reported cases. There were 22 confirmed deaths in New York City and three in Los Angeles in the past three years.