History of Gay Rights in Germany
1794: The Kingdom of Prussia abolishes the death penalty for sodomy
August 29, 1867: Karl Heinrich Ulrichs becomes the first self-proclaimed homosexual to speak out for the repeal of anti-gay laws at the Congress of German Jurists in Munich.
1869: The term “homosexuality” appears for the first time in a German-Hungarian pamphlet written by human rights campaigner Karl-Maria Kertbeny
1871: Homosexuality is criminalized by Paragraph 175 of the Reich Criminal Code.
1907: Adolf Brand, member of a gay rights organization, publishes a piece “outing” the imperial cancellor of Germany, Prince Bernhard von Bülow. He is sued for libel and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
1907-1909: The Harden-Eulenburg affair. Even more people are called gay and sue for libel.
Magnus Hirschfeld co-founds the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft
(Institute for Sex Research), a pioneer calling for the civil and social
acceptance of gay and trans people.
1919: Anders als die Anderen (Different from the Others), one of the first explicitly gay films, premiers. Magnus Hirschfeld was a co-writer and funded its production.
October 16, 1929: A Reichstag Committee votes to repeal Paragraph 175. The Nazis’ rise to power prevents the implementation.
1931: Mädchen in Uniform, one of the first pro-lesbian films, is released.
1933: The Nazi party bans homosexual groups. Gay people are sent to concentration camps. Nazis burn the Institut für Sexualwissenschaften to the ground.
1937: First use of the pink triangle for gay men in concentration camps.
1945: After the liberation of concentration camps by the allied forces, gay people have to serve out the full term of there sentences under Paragraph 175.
1950: East Germany
partially abolishes the Nazis’ emendations to Paragraph 175.
1968: East Germany decriminalizes homosexual acts for people over the age of 18.
1969: West Germany decriminalizes homosexual acts.
1974: General Gay Association,
the second openly-LGBT rights organization in German history, is established.
1985: Herbert Rusche becomes the first openly-gay member of the Bundestag.
1987: Jutta Oesterle-Schwamm becomes the first lesbian member of the Bundestag.
1994: The Supreme Court rules that the age of consent for sex must be equalized.
2000: The Bundestag apologizes to gays and lesbians
persecuted under the Nazi regime, and for “harm done to homosexual citizens up to 1969”.
2001: Same-Sex couples get the right to enter a civil partnership. Klaus Wowereit becomes the first openly-gay major of Berlin, making Berlin the largest city of the world with a gay major. Ole von Beust becomes the first openly-gay major of Hamburg.
2002: Same-sex stepchild adoption is legalized. Guido Westerwelle, leader of the FDP, becomes the first leader of a major party to come out as gay.
2009: Westerwelle becomes the first openly-gay member of the Federal Cabinet
2013: Barbara Hendricks
becomes the first openly-lesbian member of the Federal Cabinet
March 22, 2017: The Bundestag votes in favor of rehabilitation for those presecuted under Paragraph 175.
June 30, 2017: Same-Sex marriage and adoption is legalized.