The federal government's queer commissioner looks visibly proud into the cameras. He calls the action plan he is holding in his hands "historic". Sven Lehmann emphasizes that never before in the history of the federal government has there been such a package of measures for queer people. The federal cabinet had approved the new action plan just a few hours earlier. Here is an overview of the key points.
Non-heterosexual people in Germany are still being bullied, insulted or, in the worst case, physically attacked on the Internet, but also in everyday life. According to official statistics, there are three to four attacks of this type a day, says Lehmann. However, he considers the number of unreported cases to be much higher. "We have a problem with hate crimes against these people," he says. The existing legislation is far from sufficient to adequately protect queer people and strengthen their rights.
Non-heterosexual people or those who do not identify with the traditional role model of men and women or other social norms relating to gender and sexuality describe themselves as queer.
Amendment of the Basic Law
The new action plan includes measures in six fields of action. One of the core areas is the legal recognition of queer people. In order to strengthen this, it should be anchored in the Basic Law that people may not be discriminated against because of their "sexual identity". The government intends to amend Article 3 of the constitution accordingly.
Not an easy undertaking, because: A two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat is required for the change. According to Lehmann's assessment, the government factions of the SPD, FDP and Greens as well as the majority of the left-wing faction are in favor of the Bundestag. Some members of the Union would also support the project. However, talks are still ongoing.
Reform of descent and family law
This rule is to be abolished so that when a child is born, both mothers automatically become legal mothers. This has long been the case with married heterosexual couples, explains Lehmann. Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) wants to present the cornerstones of the parentage reform in the coming year.
Self-determination law to replace transsexual law
The traffic light has been planning for a long time to abolish the current transsexual law. It treats queer people "as if they were sick," says Lehmann. The new self-determination law is intended to ensure that every person in Germany can determine their gender and first name themselves in the future and change it in a simple procedure at the registry office. This law is also scheduled to come into force next year. The draft for this is "almost ready".
One of the core concerns is to better protect lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and other queer people (LSBTIQ*) from violence. "Gender-specific" and "against sexual orientation" motives are to play a greater role in determining penalties for perpetrators in the future. A federal-state dialogue on the introduction of an anti-violence program and the nationwide expansion of counseling services are also planned.
Health care for queer people should improve - among other things by reducing discrimination there and raising awareness among specialist staff. It is also planned that the blood donation ban for men who have sex with men and for trans people will be abolished - if necessary by law.
According to Lehmann, the implementation of the plans should begin in the coming year. The traffic light wants to implement "as much as possible" within three years. In 2024, the Bundestag should then be informed about the progress.