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Constitution: Protection of queer people: Lehmann calls for amendment to the Basic Law

Constitution: Protection of queer people: Lehmann calls for amendment to the Basic Law

Thirty years ago today, the criminalization of homosexuality was finally abolished. On the anniversary, the Queer Commissioner urged that stronger protection against discrimination be anchored in the constitution.

The Federal Government’s Queer Commissioner, Sven Lehmann, is pushing for a change to the Basic Law to better protect queer people in Germany. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the abolition of the criminalization of homosexuality in Germany, the Green politician called for this group to be protected even more strongly from discrimination than before. “Queer people are the last group persecuted by the Nazis who do not yet have explicit protection status in the Basic Law,” Lehmann told the dpa.

Article 3 of the Basic Law prohibits discrimination based on characteristics such as gender, origin or religion. What is missing so far, however, is the characteristic of sexual identity. “Explicit constitutional protection is important, also so that certain achievements, such as marriage for all, cannot be reversed.” Better constitutional protection is also needed in view of increasing attacks by right-wing extremists and religious fundamentalists, explained Lehmann.

Thirty years ago, on June 11, 1994, Article 175 of the Criminal Code was finally repealed, stressed the queer commissioner. It was a “dark chapter in German history” that destroyed lives.

The paragraph introduced in 1871 had criminalized same-sex love between men for decades. In 1969, the criminalization of homosexual acts had already been relaxed – but it was not completely abolished until 1994. Since then, the same age of consent has applied to homosexual and heterosexual acts in Germany.

Lehmann sees urgent need for further sharpening

From Lehmann’s point of view, the fact that the article has been able to exist for so long shows that the Basic Law in its current form has not been able to prevent “state human rights crimes” against queer people. Therefore, there is an urgent need for tightening up of the law here.

The inclusion of sexual identity as a discriminatory characteristic in the Basic Law is also included as a plan in the coalition agreement. However, this will not be easy to implement: a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat is required to amend the Basic Law.

In this context, Lehmann welcomed signals of support from CDU-led state governments. For example, Kai Wegner’s government in Berlin has announced a Federal Council initiative to supplement Article 3, said Lehmann. Positive signals are also coming from North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt. Lehmann also appealed to CDU chairman Friedrich Merz and the Union faction in the Bundestag to support the plan.

Source: Stern

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