Germany’s education secretary Anja Karliczek is facing backlash for comments about LGBT rights.
Karliczek, a leading member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), came under fire from a cabinet colleague after criticising the introduction of same-sex marriage in a TV interview.
In an interview on N-TV show Klamroth’s Konter, Karliczek criticised the “rash” way that equal marriage came about, saying: “I think the way we did it was not right.”
Angela Merkel, an opponent of same-sex marriage, abruptly shifted her stance on the issue ahead of the 2017 election, opting to allow a law to pass through the German Parliament despite her own personal opposition.
“We change basic structures in our society just like that with the stroke of a pen, and that annoys me and that bothers me.”
— Anja Karliczek
Karliczek went on to claim there are “no long-term studies on the impact on children of same-sex partnerships” and suggested that children need the “emotional tension between father and mother.”
She added: “We change basic structures in our society just like that with the stroke of a pen, and that annoys me and that bothers me too.”
Anja Karliczek faces backlash over comments
The comments were promptly called out by one of the politician’s cabinet colleagues, Federal Minister for Families and Women Franziska Giffey.
According to Deutche Welle, Giffey said: “Studies have already shown that children develop just as well under homosexual partnerships as they do in families with mothers and fathers…what counts is that people lovingly take care of their children.”
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Giffey represents the government’s junior coalition partner, the pro-LGBT Social Democratic Party.
Opposition parties also hit out at the comments.
According to Queer.de, Jens Brandenburg of the Free Democratic Party said: “Children in rainbow families do not suffer from their parents, but under the prejudices of others.
“For decades, the research has always come back with the same result: These children are a little more tolerant, but are no different from others.”
N-TV reports that Green MEP Sven Lehmann questioned whether Karliczek had “been asleep for several decades.”
Lehmann added: “If the minister wants to carry out a long-term study, perhaps it would be better to look at how backwards attitudes impact the exercise of office.”
Anja Karliczek voted against same-sex marriage in 2017
Karliczek voted against equal marriage when the issue was put to a vote in July 2017.
Merkel gave CDU representatives a free vote on the proposal put forward by the Social Democrats, though Merkel herself voted against the legislation.
In the past, Merkel admitted to having a “hard time” with the issue, but spoke about meeting a lesbian couple who had eight foster children, which changed her mind in favour of a free vote.