German Lawmakers Call For Compensation For Thousands Of Gay Men

Germany’s opposition Green parliamentarians have called for the immediate recompense for thousands of elderly convicted for homosexuality up until 1994, which they described as a “monstrous disgrace”.

Lawmakers Katja Keul and Volker Beck said on August 8 they sent a compensatory draft law to all parliamentary groups in the Bundestag.

Homosexual acts were criminalised from 1871 under Paragraph 175 in the penal code of the then German empire and sharpened under Hitler from 1935. The paragraph was retained in post-war Germany’s law books. It was abolished in former communist East Germany in 1968. Not until 1994 was it abolished in unified Germany, including what had been West Germany.

 

Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas in May said his ministry would table a bill to quash convictions and provide compensatory arrangements. More than 50,000 people, mostly men, were persecuted and convicted between 1945 and 1965.

Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Federation (LSVD) demanded that the repeal be implemented in Germany’s current legislative period ahead of next year’s federal elections.

It said “time is pressing” because the now elderly “victims of persecution of homosexuality” needed the restoration of their dignity before they passed away.

 

credit: Beata Stur

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