CNN looks at gay men in Germany who have joined politically far right political groups, such as Alternative for Germany (AfD), who, if opinion polls are correct, are likely to secure enough votes to enter the Bundestag after the German general election on 24 September.
Karsten P. empties a test tube filled with metal pieces into the palm of his hand. They’re the tiny screws and bolts that held his face together after he and his partner Sven were violently assaulted in a life-changing attack outside their local store.
Two surgeries later and fearful of being attacked again, the openly gay 52-year-old taxi driver — who doesn’t want to be identified because of concerns of another attack — avoids public spaces and always takes pepper spray with him. He and his partner have also been forced to move neighborhoods in the northwest German city of Bremen following mounting costs as a result of being injured.
“I went outside and saw someone kicking my partner’s head. I was trying to stop him and right at that moment, I got hit from the side,” Karsten recalls about the attack. “I kind of lost consciousness and when I got up again, I thought my partner was dead. He was all covered in blood and he didn’t move at all.”
Police identified the attackers as two locally known Muslim extremists. They were never arrested and later fled to Syria. After demanding answers from local prosecutors and the mayor’s office and not getting a response, Karsten turned to Germany’s far right party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD).
“I don’t like everything they say,” Karsten says, “but this is too dangerous for gay people to live openly here, if we get attacked like that. We need a party that’s talking openly about this.”
Pierre Bergé | Agence France Press | 17156gh
The French fashion tycoon Pierre Bergé – the business brains behind the Yves Saint Laurent empire – has died aged 86.
The longtime partner of the late designer Yves Saint Laurent died in his sleep early Friday at his country home at Saint-Remy-de-Provence in southern France.
The passionate bibliophile and art collector was a tireless campaigner for gay rights and donated a large part of his fortune to AIDS research.
Gay Activist sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.
A French company was offering “invisible PC spy software” which could be used “to find out if your son is gay”.
Listing a series of “clues” Fireworld suggested that “hacking his Facebook account” and seeing if he had visited gay websites would confirm a parent’s suspicions.
The company has since taken down the article.
So much for the European citizen’s right to a private life!
A hotel in Cavallino, Italy has created a storm with its unusual toilet icons, three to be precise – a woman, a man, and a “gay” man.
Several Italian dailies and media outlets commented that three toilets was even two too many in an era where unisex facilities are increasingly popular.
Associazione LeA, the Italian LGBT rights lobby, released a statement denouncing the negative attitude.
The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, signed the “marriage for all” bill into law on Thursday. The new law will come into effect after 1 October 2017.
The final step in the legalisation of gay and lesbian marriage comes three weeks after the country’s Bundestag approved the law at the end of June.
The law was controversial, and was rushed through both houses of parliament before the summer break.
Lawmakers who are opposed to “marriage for all” have threatened to have the legality of the new law checked by the Federal Court of Justice, which is Germany’s highest court.
The main change between civil partnerships and marriage equality in German law means same-sex couples will be able to jointly adopt children.
As predicted a week ago, last night Malta’s parliament legalised gay marriage.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat praised the passage of bill, which his Labour Party had vowed would be the first legislation it would bring forward after winning a second term in a snap parliamentary election in June.
“I think it is a historic vote,” said Muscat. “It shows that our democracy and our society is maturing, has reached an unprecedented level of maturity and it is a society where we can all say we are equal.”
Malta is on the verge of legalising gay marriage after the government brought forward legislation to scrap gendered references to marriage in the country’s laws. Gendered terms such as “husband”, “wife”, “mother” and “father” will be removed from the country’s Marriage Act and other laws and be replaced with gender-neutral terminology.
It will also become legal for gay couples to adopt children.
The Bundestag | Bundestag | 17126
The German Bundestag voted by 393 to 226 to legalise same-sex marriage, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped her opposition to a vote.
The reform grants couples full marital rights and allows them to adopt children.
The German legal code will now read: “Marriage is entered into for life by two people of different or the same sex”, AFP news agency reported.
Well done Bundestag.
Reuters | 17120
Turkish police squashed the LGBT pride march in Istanbul after organisers pressed ahead with the event despite the third ban in as many years by the authorities.
Police with riot shields and helmets sealed off the entrances to Istiklal Street, citing security concerns after threats from an ultra-nationalist group.
Police fired rubber bullets to disperse one group and officers with dogs chased Pridegoers.
Angela Merkel told an event organised by a magazine that her party’s opposition to gay marriage may be over and that German MPs should be allowed a free vote in the Bundestag.
The German chancellor said she felt aggrieved that debate was mainly carried out along party lines and that she hoped it would be “headed towards a conscience vote”.
It is widely believed the Bundestag would legalise gay marriage in a free vote on the issue.
Until recently, there have been no significant advances in Germany for gay and lesbians for some time.