The Pride Parade in Berlin took place last week and for the seventh time, the organisers recognised moral courage of individuals and organisations with the “Zivilcourage-Preis” (the Civil Courage Award.)

Among those honoured was a German member of the European Parliament, Lissy Gröner.

The Social Democrat is a vocal advocate for gay, lesbian and female rights and was first elected into the EU Parliament in 1989.

She is the only female MEP to have had a same-sex civil partnership.

“This award is a fantastic recognition of the European efforts to fight discrimination” said Gröner.

“Today we gave a vital example of a tolerant and cosmopolitan society.

“For lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons to live at all times without discrimination, everyone in policy and in companies has to act.

“No one should be a victim of discrimination in the workplace, in their free time or in their every day live because of their sexual orientation, says the treaty of Europe.”

Ms Gröner has been very critical of the Polish government for initiating a law against homosexuals, arguing instead that Europe stands for “equality, tolerance, respect and diversity.”

The MEP, also a member of the Parliament’s Gay and Lesbian Rights Intergroup, stressed that German legislation is lagging behind.

“The equal treatment of civil unions and marriages is not implemented in tax law, heritage law, civil service law and adoption law,” she said.