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Germany to expunge historic gay sex convictions and offer compensation

Joseph McCormick May 11, 2016
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Germany will expunge the convictions of gay men under a law criminalising homosexuality.

The announcement was made by German Justice Minister Heiko Maas today, who also said that those convicted would have a “right to compensation”.

Around 50,000 men were convicted under the law between 1946 and 1969.

The 19th Century law was enhanced by the Nazis in Germany.

Despite homosexuality being decriminalised in 1969, the law was not fully removed until 1994.

“We will never be able to eliminate completely these outrages by the state, but we want to rehabilitate the victims,” A statement from Maas¬†said.

“The homosexual men who were convicted should no longer have to live with the taint of conviction.”

Those convicted under the law have waited a long time for their records to be expunged.

Back in 2002, the Government expunged the convictions made during the Nazi rule, but that did not include those convicted after 1945.

But the Government must legally rehabilitate the men, following a study by the Anti-Discrimination Agency.

The author of the study, Martin Burgi, said the convictions must be overturned.

Professor Burgi also suggested that compensation for educational project should also be given.

The head of the Anti-Discrimination Agency, Christine Luders, said that the “open wound in the rule of law” would need to be healed, but that the Agency is happy with the result.

Although Germany has ruled out discrimination, same-sex marriage is still not legal there.

Civil partnerships were legalised in 2001, and tax status and adoption rights are equal for gay couples, but marriage is still not an option for same-sex couples.

Germany faces increasing pressure to legalise equal marriage, since Ireland did so by a referendum last year.

The UK passed similar legislation in 2012. The policy was first announced by David Cameron in 2010 during a Q&A with PinkNews readers.

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