International News

News that impact gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer communities worldwide

German Compensation for Gays

27 May 2016

Over in Germany the European country is set to annul the convictions of gay men under a law criminalising homosexuality that was applied zealously in post-war Germany.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas is to overturn the convictions and create a "right to compensation".

About 50,000 German men were convicted between 1946 and 1969, under a 19th-Century law that the Nazis had sharpened.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1969, but the legislation was not taken off the books entirely until 1994.

"We will never be able to eliminate completely these outrages by the state, but we want to rehabilitate the victims," Mr Maas said in a statement. "The homosexual men who were convicted should no longer have to live with the taint of conviction."

For those with past convictions for being gay, the decision has been a long time coming. In 2002, the German government decided to overturn any convictions made during the Nazi period, but this did not include men convicted after the war.

Now a study commissioned by the German Federal Anti-discrimination Agency has found the government is legally obliged to rehabilitate the men. The author, professor Martin Burgi, says all convictions must be overturned, and suggest compensation should be offered for educational projects.

Currently Germany has legally allowed civil partnerships since 2001, but gay couples do not have the same tax status as married couples and have limited adoption rights. However, pressure is growing on the government to legalise gay marriage specifically after Ireland adopted it last year.

Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Keep up with us on Pinterest Join our Google Plus circle Join us on Tumblr