Europe » Germany
Gay Guide Germany
The civil partnership law passed in Germany in 2001 as yet fails to provide equal rights, particularly in a number of tax- and civil service-related matters and in the area of joint adoption. Since 2006 there is also a rather tentative general parity act providing gay men and lesbians with some protection from discrimination in industrial and civil law. The state itself continues to discriminate against homosexuals in its tax laws and civil service law unchanged, but has meanwhile been forced to alter a number of regulations found to be unconstitutional by high court decisions. Notable is a comment by the Federal Constitutional Court in 2009 that no disadvantage for alternative partnerships is derivable from the "special protection of marriage" anchored in the constitution. In 2013, the Federal Constitutional Court returned another two important verdicts benefiting homosexual life partners. This includes putting an end to the unequal treatment in adoption rights where successive adoption is concerned. A decision on full adoption rights is still outstanding, however. Besides this, the refusal of joint tax returns to same-sex partnerships has been declared unconstitutional. In her campaign for the parliamentary elections, the chancellor Angela Merkel clearly stated that she rejects full adoption right because she feels uneasy about it and is of the opinion that the best interests of the children would not be served by growing up with homosexual couples. What is hence to be expected is that further progress towards greater equality will not be initiated by politicians, but rather imposed by the highest court. The general age of consent in Germany is 16. Germany has had a flourishing LGBT-infrastructure for decades. The large communities in Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg or Munich include countless associations, companies, bars and nightclubs. Even medium-sized cities have their own gay scenes. But acts of anti-gay violence still occur and discrimination persists, especially in industrial law and the Catholic Church, or from arch-conservative politicians. Even if in last decades the acceptance of gay-lesbian lifestyles has perceptibly increased, unfortunately homophobia, on the other hand, appears to be increasing. The important years of educational and acceptance work of the lesbian and gay federation (LSVD) and other organizations has decisively contributed to an increase in acceptance. Recently however the LSVD must increasingly undertake anti-homophobia work. The Bavarian Alpine region in the south with king Ludwig's romantic castles and the beer capital Munich, the North and Baltic Sea beaches with their offshore islands, the Rhine valley to the west featuring medieval fairy-tale castles and the carnival centres Cologne, Mainz and Düsseldorf, and finally the Saxon east and its capital Dresden, called the "Florence on the Elbe" river, are all classic travel destinations that also attract many lesbians and gay men.
Cities in Germany
Name: Deutschland · Allemagne · Alemania · Germania
Location: Central Europe
International country code: 49 (omit 0 from area codes)
International access code: 00
Area: 357,121 km² / 137,885 sq mi.
Currency: 1 Euro (€) = 100 Cents
Religions: 29% Roman Catholic, 29% Protestant
Climate: Winters can be quite cold and summers are generally warm and humid. Best time for a visit is from April to October.
Important gay cities: Berlin, Köln, München, Hamburg, Frankfurt/Main