Germany’s Public View on LGBT Issues Remain Mixed

By Stephen Fuchs on

Germany tends to be on the forefront of social issues, but one area that has often been pushed to the side is the country’s view on same-sex marriage along with LGBT protections and equality. A new report has focused in on this very issue, and while the German public has improved in some key areas, there is still a lot of work to be done.

83 percent support of equal marriage rights

Let’s start with the good news: Germany’s Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) is reporting that an overwhelming majority of the German public are in favor of a clear legal equality for same-sex marriages. In the study, 83 percent were in support of equal marriage rights. Under the current law, same-sex couples are only afforded minimal rights that FADA head Christine Lüders calls “second-class marriage”.

A much larger group of those surveyed, 95 percent, believe that gays and lesbians should be afforded legal protection from discrimination. And when it comes to adoption, an option that is off the table and strictly enforced for same-sex couples, 75.8 percent believe it should be allowed and that the current limitations are outdated and need to be removed.

40 percent against same-sex public display of affection

So onto the not-so-good: While a growing number of Germans are throwing their support behind equal rights, there is still a very real problem of discrimination that needs to be addressed. For many, it appears that the equality should be there but behind closed doors. 40 percent still find the public display of affection between same-sex couples to be a hard thing to swallow, and 20 percent hold onto their belief that anything outside of a heterosexual relationship is just unnatural.

Some of these hangups are caused by religious beliefs, but various extremist political parties are causing their own set of headaches for Germans pushing LGBT equality. The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been one of the most vocal among the political groups, harking back to some of Germany’s most troubling political eras. In its short existence, the party has already received a 15 percent backing among the public — something equality advocates are seeing as troubling numbers ahead of Germany’s national elections later this year.


Sources: DW

Photo: Kurt Löwenstein Education Center [Flickr]