has been one of the most progressive European nations on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights
. The German Empire
and Nazi Germany
each reversed the previously tolerant policies using §175
. Especially during the Weimar Republic
and the Federal Republic of Germany
, activists campaigned for its repeal. The laws were attenuated in 1950, repealed in practise in East Germany in 1968 and in full in a reunified Germany in 1994.
Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
There are no laws against same-sex sexual activity in Germany.
Male-male sexual activity was prosecuted under sodomy laws throughout Western Europe from the Middle Ages, and was made a crime nationally under Paragraph 175
in 1871, the year the federal German Empire was formed. The law was extended under Nazi
rule, and convictions multiplied by a factor of ten to about 8,000 per year. Penalties were severe, and 5,000 – 15,000 suspected offenders were interned in concentration camps
, where most of them died.
The Nazi additions were repealed in East Germany
in 1950, but homosexual relations between men remained a crime until 1968. West Germany
kept the more repressive version of the law, legalizing male homosexual activity one year after East Germany, in 1969. The age of consent
was equalized in East Germany through a 1987 court ruling, with West Germany following suit in 1989; it is now 14 years (16/18 in some circumstances) for female-female, male-male and female-male......