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An important step for the gay community came about in 1969. The grand coalition, led by Kurt Georg Kiesinger (CDU) and Willy Brandt (SPD) as chancellor and foreign minister respectively,  implemented the first reform to change the criminal law.

The latter part of the 60s brought about the beginning of the sexual revolution and thus more freedom for gays. Groups and associations were established and campaigned for gay rights. Another milestone in the gay rights movements was the uprising of several gays and lesbians in the Stonewall Inn located on Christopher Street in New York. This stand against despotism has been celebrated annually as Christopher Street Day ever since. In Germany, however, the first Christopher Street Day doesn’t happen until 10 years later.

2 factors threaten the gay community throughout the 80s: Neo-Nazis and AIDS. The first traces of the virus arose within the gay community in the USA and quickly spread across the glove, the only protection: safe sex.

In the 80s, the neo-Nazis joined the anti-gay arena. Right-wing attacks accumulated often resulting in death.

That old habits continue to shape the daily business shows at other institutions: the army continues to hold fast to opinions that were represented in the 60's, government, applications rejected because they think the word gay to be intolerable and the police can occur despite the separation from old ideas always new methods to spy on gays.


BRD Reform of the Criminal Code: The last valid law from the Nazi era, § 175, is abolished after 24 years. There is hereby established age of consent: Homosexuality until the age of 21 is punishable and without penalty after the age of 21.


USA: A police raid on New York's Stonewall Inn triggers riots between gays and police. It is the first time that the issue of despotism against gays and lesbians comes out in the open.


The first Gazette for gays, "Du & Ich" is published.


Rosa von Praunheim and Martin Dannecker release the film "Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt.”


The DAH (a pro-gay organization) is founded


The ARD broadcasts throughout Germany (except Bavaria) the movie "Nicht der Homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die Situation, in der er lebt." The film incurs a fierce debate, making evident where the public stand: of the people who call into the show, 95% complain. The Tenor addresses the WDR press office as follows: "The Homos are to remain in the corner and hopefully remain there." In East Berlin the HIB (gay interest group Berlin) is founded. The abbreviation HIB is worn engraved on a necklace upon request of the members.


The second reform of § 175 of the Criminal Code: the age of consent is reduced from 21 to 18 years. Homosexual prostitution is not punishable by law.


First time the word "schwul" (gay) is used in a publication.


S / M pornography seized is seized in the mail (Loge 70). Customers are sought out and the pornographic material is confiscated.


Founding of the National Working Group for the Repression Against Gays "(NARG); task: systematic cataloging of material to be used in the discrimination against gays.


Kroemer Wolfgang becomes the first openly gay man to run for office in Hamburg.


The Cover of Star reads: "We're gay." 600 men come out voluntarily; in the case of one 17-year-old, the state threatens to imprison him if he does not reveal the name of his 40-year-old lover.


DDR: The recognition of the HIB is rejected because, "there isn´t social interest to form such an organization."


The 10th Anniversary of the incident at the Stonewall Inn.  CSD (Christopher Street Day) is celebrated for the first time in Germany: 800 people in Bremen, 400 people in Stuttgart as well as 400 in Berlin.


The Greek government makes plans to ban homosexuality, triggering international protests headed by the IGA, which was later renamed the ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Organization).


The Federal Administrative Court's rules that a homosexual inclination not to be suited for military personell.


Corny Littmann, a top political candidate, smashes a mirror in a public bathroom in Hamburg. Behind the mirror: a 4x2 large room that the police used for spying.


FDP politician Hildegard Hamm-Brucher is criticized for refusing to reform the Penal Code § 175.


The neo-Nazi John Bügner is murdered by four of his comrades. They state that Bügner was "a traitor and a gay man." The perpetrators serve sentences ranging from several month to life in prison.


AIDS is mentioned for the first time in the press. The New York Times reports the "Carposi sarcoma” which was found to be present among homosexuals. In 1982, the first AIDS patient in Germany is diagnosed and in 1984 20 patients are diagnosed to be carrying AIDS.  Within the years 1985-1990 alone, approximately 10,000 people die of AIDS.

In 1987, The Bavarian government considers the implementation of an AIDS law. This would require people within specific risk groups (Drug-users, prostitutes and homosexuals) to be medically examined. Individuals who are found in a gay bar are labelled with a "suspicion of infection.” Similar procedures would be implemented for companies with homosexual employees.


In Ulm, the pro-gay group “Schwulm gets permission for a gay information desk with the help of the press. This had previously been rejected due to the fact that to "promote homosexuality would be contrary to public order, despite the change of public opinion.”


The Bishop of Strasbourg, Léon Arthur Eichinger, denies 150 students of the ILGA lodging forcing them to overnight outside in the freezing rain.


A 16-year-old and 10-year-old are arrested during a gay and lesbian demonstration in Hamburg. The younger is held for 2 hours, and the elder on suspicion of pedophilia. The case is later dropped due to lack of evidence.


Michael Lindner, company commander is retired from his post. The armed forces defend their actions based on he rulings of the Federal Administrative Court on 10.25.1979.

That same year the Federal Administrative Court notes: "Homosexual soldiers are not always unfit for the military." A discharge would only be justified if homosexuality were to degenerate to "a real perversion."


The Kiessling affair: General Günther Kiessling is discharged from service due to allegations of homosexuality. The MAD (a military counter-intelligence organization) identified Kiessling as a security risk due to the fact that Kiessling could have been easily blackmailed.

Kiessling denies the allegations in an interview on 01/12/1984. On 20/01/1984, Alexander Ziegler claims to have evidence against Kiessling.

Defense Minister Woerner explains in a subsequent interview: ". I do not have the slightest against homosexuals, on the contrary, I come into contact often with homosexual acquaintances of my wife in my own home [...] If Kiessling admitted his homosexual inclinations, nothing would have happened.”

In the end, Kiessling is “rehabilitated” and “honorably” discharged with the Groß Zapfenstreich  on 26.03.1984.


Munich: Herbert Rusche (Green) is injured after an election rally in which he argues for the abolition of § 175. Rusche was the first openly gay delegate. The perpetrators were under the leadership of neo-Nazi Michael Bold.


DDR: In a written statement, the the Ministry of State Security explains that "in the last 14 days, a list of all known homosexuals was compiled by The Central Agency for STDs and and given to The Institute for Blood Donation [...]"


Federal President Richard von Weizsacker commemorates of the victims of The Third Reich, including victims of anti-homosexual attacks in his speech. This is the first time that the BRG takes a stand on the subject.


With Eldoradio becomes Berlin’s first gay on-air radio program.


DDR: The Supreme Court justifies for the first time an acquittal of § 151 of the Criminal Code in the following: "Homosexuality, like heterosexuality is a variant of sexual behavior [...]. Homosexual people are therefore not outside of society, and are guaranteed civil rights like all other citizens. [...]"


Germany: The call for a gay and lesbian department within the Ministry of Family Affairs is declined for consideration, since the terms gay and lesbian "from the vast majority" of employees could not be accepted.


DDR: Code § 151 is deleted in its entirety. Homosexuality is illegal in East Germany no more!

Page translated into English by Latané

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