Claim

These are the political demands of Hamburg Pride e.V.:

1. We demand the completion of Article 3 of the German Basic Law, also protecting individuals from discrimination on the grounds of „sexual orientation and gender identity“.

Only this change makes a full legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people possible. The extended Article 3, Clause 3 of the German Basic Law must state: „No person shall be favoured or disfavoured because of … sexual orientation and gender identity”. This extension, already initiated in the German Bundesrat, is necessary, so that lesbian, gay, trans*- and intersexual people may not be treated as 2nd class citizens in legislative processes or court rulings. The state must carry out its duty in protecting sexual minorities.

2. We demand the rapid introduction of a third gender option in the law of civil status. In this process, the wishes of queer people must be considered: the third gender option must be developed in close co-operation with the respective existing associations and based on the respective Federal Constitutional Court ruling.

By the end of 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court demanded the introduction of a “third option” in the federal law on civil status. The possibility of an unbureaucratic and self-determined register in the law on civil status especially affects the personal rights of transgender and intersex persons. However, existing drafts do not take the interests of queer people into account appropriately and are being delayed in the legislative process. Therefore, we demand the quick introduction of a third gender option in the birth register on the basis of the Federal Constitutional Court ruling. In this development process, respective associations must be included.

3. We demand the reform of the transsexuals law in close co-operation with existing interest groups and associations as well as measure to improve their living conditions.

The World Health Organization removed the psychiatric diagnosis of transsexuality and all related diagnosis from its catalogue of mental illnesses. This decision eliminates any justification for the frequently criticised German law on transsexuality. We demand the legislative body to follow on this declaration and reform the discriminative transsexual law for the benefit of a legal recognition of self-determination on gender identity.

The Maltese “Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act“ is recognized as the most progressive legislation in this field. German regulations should be guided by the Maltese Act as well as on the Council of Europe Resolution 2048 on the protection of transgender people. It must reject any stigmatizing extra-legislation and integrate all transgender-relevant human rights in existing laws.

The costs for medical interventions for sex reassignments must be covered by health insurance. Transgender people must not be classified as mentally ill by medical classifications any longer. At the same time, the possibility to medical treatment must be given.

In addition to an explicit ban on discrimination based on gender identity, human rights standards that consider the concerns of trans* people must be introduced on an international level. Trans*phobic assaults must be classified as hate crimes and be prosecuted consequently. Trans* people and their organizations are to be integrated into the development of laws that affects them.

4. We demand a ban on sex reassignment surgeries for intersex persons without their previous, explicit and informed approval.

People that were born with male as well as female sex characteristics, undergo a sex assignment, mostly during early childhood and also without medical necessity. The impulse to push people even in young years into the existing binary norm must not superimpose possible risks nor the own will of those affected. Medical interventions may only be realized after a completely documented consultation and with the explicit, informed consent of the person.

5. We demand the use of a gender-sensitive language that considers and visualizes gender diversity.

Language creates reality. Through language, visibility can be granted to or taken away from individuals or social groups. The German language is still dominated by the Generic masculine, which excludes women* as well as trans*persons. That is why we demand an inclusive, gender-sensitive language use which pays attention & tribute to the gender diversity of people. There is a broad range of possibilities – from gender asterisks (e.g. ‘Lehrer*innen’ = teachers) or neutral words (e.g. ‘Lehrkräfte’ = teachers) to gerund forms (e.g. ‘Lehrende’ = teachers). Let’s grasp at this chance!

6. We demand active sex education policies as well as the integration of sexual diversity in school curricula in all states.

Sex education must enable young people to find an approach towards sexuality which is characterized by self-determination, responsibility and non-violence. It must adapt a target group oriented, age appropriate and appreciative way. It must enable children and adolescents to handle related topics that are present within themselves and their surroundings.

Teachers are responsible that no student is allowed to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but is supported in their development and daily school life.

Moreover, the Hamburg school act sees sex education as part of the school curricula and states that biological as well as social aspects are seized on. The acceptance of different forms of partnerships, e.g. homosexual relationships, is also listed explicitly in the current Hamburg core curricula as a task of sex education. We demand the consequent application of this regulation in educational practices.

7. We demand employers to actively counteract any kind of discrimination and to foster conscience for gender and sexual diversity at work.

Discrimination at work carries a risk for the mental health of employees. Moreover, it affects their performance negatively and contributes to a climate of fear at the work place. With that said, we ask employers to actively oppose discrimination and esteem diversity with regards to gender as well as sexuality at work. Integral diversity-management-concepts improve the fairness within employees and thereby have a positive outcome for the creativity and chances of success of an enterprise.

8. We demand a stronger and more diverse representation of queer lifestyles in the media.

Pride is one of the few moments in which LGBTIQ+ matters receive an increased media attention. Media coverage however, is often packed with stereotypes and discriminating terms. “Shrill”, “flamboyant” and “gay parade”, which refers only to gay men, are some of the frequently used terms that neither meet the diversity nor the political request of LGBTIQ+ communities. Apart from that, queer lifestyles remain a rare topic in media coverage, although mass media exert a key role in socialization: they communicate role-specific behaviours, norms and social values. We are also part of social reality. That is why we request media representatives to focus more and with a more diverse approach on LGBTIQ+ in their reporting and program development.

9. We demand a reform of the family law. When a child is conceived in a lesbian marriage with the help of in vitro fertilization, both women must automatically be recognized as mothers, so that a stepchild-adoption by the non-conceiving woman is no longer necessary.

Contrary to the euphoria that followed the legalization of same-sex marriage, legal equality for queer couples and families is not reached yet: If a child is born in a lesbian marriage with the help of in vitro fertilization, the woman who didn’t give birth to the child is not automatically recognized as mother but must undergo the process of stepchild adoption. We request the legislative body to change family law in a way that recognizes both women within a lesbian marriage as mothers of that child.

10. We demand a national, binding action plan which fosters the acceptance of diversity with regards to gender and sexuality and fights homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity.

Homo-, bi- and trans*phobia still are a problem in our society. This is why we see the need of a national action plan which strengthens the rights of queer people and opposes discrimination decisively. In Hamburg, the action plan for acceptance of gender- and sexual diversity has been adopted in 2017; but there is still no respective federal initiative. Acceptance must not stop at regional borders!

11. We demand that hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity are established as an explicit category in the German criminal law and that measures are taken to fight homo- and trans*phobia.

The law on hate crime must also name the criterion “sexual identity” specifically. Currently, criminal acts based on homo- or trans*phobic reasons are not recorded individually but only subsumed in the sub-point “sexual orientation” under “hate crime”. The terms homo- or trans*phobia are not used.

We also demand an improved reporting procedure as well as the sensitization of police, justice and victim protection for the concerns of sexual minorities. Initiatives on the prevention of violence must include concrete and effective measures to protect LGBTIQ+.

12. We demand the worldwide adherence of human rights for homosexuals, trans*, bi- and intersexual people.

The Russian law that criminalizes the mere speech about homo- and transsexuality was first introduced in Hamburg’s partner city St. Petersburg. From there, it has risen to gain national character in Russia. That is why we request the Senate of Hamburg to address this law in talks about city partnerships and insist on its annulment. Also, we request all Members of the national as well as the Hamburg Parliament to use all possible means to stop this discrimination. Russia is only one of many examples. In the same line, numerous cases of state discrimination towards sexual minorities and limitation of human rights show: there is a need for action – even within the European Union! That is why we strongly demand the European Commission, the Federal Government and the Senate of Hamburg to remind all partners of the adherence of human rights in all member states of the European Union. The same applies for regions beyond EU borders: The international community must exert a strong influence in order to stop homo- and trans*phobic laws. A clear position must be taken towards countries that punish homosexuality (with up to death penalty). Human rights are indivisible!

13. We demand the implementation of the Lunacek report, which was adopted by the European Parliament. This EU Roadmap is an extensive proposal to combat homophobia and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in the EU.

With the adoption of the so-called Lunacek report, the European Parliament made clear that homo- and trans*phobia may no longer be tolerated in Europe. In this line, the rights of LGBTIQ+ are also strengthened by a landmark EU marriage ruling by the European Court of Justice backing residency for same-sex couples and the European Parliament resolution of 1st March 2018 on the situation on fundamental rights in the EU. At the same time, we witness homo-, bi- and trans*phobic voices becoming louder and stronger. That is why we demand the European Commission to develop and carry out a EU-wide strategy against the daily contempt of European fundamental values through homo-, bi- and trans*phobic laws or practices. EU candidates that are unwilling to do this, must not be part of the European Union.

14. We demand a ban on conversion therapy for “healing” or “reversing” homosexuals.

Homosexuality is no illness and thereby it is neither “curable” nor “in need to be cured”. Nevertheless, even in Germany there are still conversion therapies in order to “reverse” mostly gay men. While, in March 2018, the European Parliament rejected conversion therapies with an impressively large majority, the German Federal government did not see any necessity to ban these “therapy” offers when last asked in July 2018.

Those pseudo-scientific, mostly religiously motivated, therapy offers infringe a person’s sexual identity in a very harmful way. They accuse their “patients” of personal or moral failures. Possible outcomes of these offers include fears, social isolation, depression and an increased suicidal tendency. We demand a ban and consequent sanction mechanisms on these practices, including an official debarment for those medical staff who practice conversion therapy.

15. We demand to stop discrimination of men that have sex with men (MSM) in regulations on blood donation.

Only from 2017 on, men that have sex with men (MSM) are allowed to donate blood. To do so, however, they have to state that they have been living in sexual abstinence within the last 12 months. This alleged loosening of the ban on blood donation continues the line of a discriminating, universal suspicion: it summarizes all MSM and assumes an equal risk of HIV transmission. However, it is not the sexual orientation but the individual behaviour, e.g. risk exposure, that determines the safety of a unit of blood. Therefore, we demand to stop the discrimination of MSM in regulations on blood donation.

16. We demand that the Senate of Hamburg eventually adjusts the funds for HIV prevention and their bearing projects to the real requirements and newest medical developments. We demand a free access to pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Medical progress has lead to a long life expectation for HIV positive people but nonetheless, they live with a disease. In this respect, information and education on HIV and other sexually transmittable infections (STIs) are necessary; not only in order to maintain the new infections rate as low as possible but also in order to provide a realistic picture of HIV and AIDS that stops with the fearful images and imaginations from the past. HIV positive people are still exposed to discrimination and stigmatization, many persons affected live in fear & shame and keep their infection a secret even towards friends & family. That is why the funds for HIV prevention must not be cut but eventually be adjusted to the real necessities and latest medical developments.

Pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the newest effective way of HIV prevention. Currently, the high costs of these measures still hinder the full use of its potentials. Every medically feasible way of prevention continues to the fight against HIV! That is why we demand a free access to PrEP.

17. We demand an ongoing commitment by the Senate of Hamburg to implement education on same-sex relationships and diversity of lifestyles in Hamburg’s schools. As well, we demand the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ history in school curricula. The Senate of Hamburg must stand up for this on a local, federal but also international level in the context of existing city partnerships.

Sex education aims to enable a self-determined, responsible and violence-free approach to sexuality. It must adapt a target group oriented, age appropriate and appreciative way to enable children and adolescents to handle related topics that are present within themselves and their surroundings.

Hamburg school laws prescribes that pupils are enabled to create relations to other people based on the principles of respect and tolerance. Teachers are responsible that every pupil is supported in their development and daily school life and not discriminated because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Moreover, Hamburg school law states sex education as part of the school curricula and names biological as well as social aspects to be treated. The acceptance of different forms of partnerships, e.g. homosexual relationships, is also listed explicitly in the current Hamburg core curricula as a task of sex education. Therefore, we demand the consequent application of this regulation in education practice.

18. We demand the consequent implementation of all measures stated in the Hamburg action plan to fight homo- and trans*phobia.

We welcome the adoption of the Action plan in January 2017 after a long elaboration period. We demand that all principles and guidelines stated in the Action plan are realized within every addressed action field. Hamburg Parliament and Senate are requested to provide the necessary human and financial resources.

19. We demand a humane treatment and accommodation for LGBTIQ+ refugees in Hamburg as well as a funding of advice service, assistance offers and accommodation that is in line with the respective demands.

We welcome that Hamburg has created accommodation opportunities for refugees. This line has to be continued and must not be lost sight of after the first, urgent need for action has become more silent. Refugees’ special need for protection must be considered. Therefore, the existing counselling and aid structures must be supported and extended.

Queer refugees often find themselves in an extremely vulnerable situation and need our support. Persecution because of homosexuality is being recognized by the EU as grounds for asylum. The violence and exclusion experienced in their home countries leads queer refugees to feel shame and fear of further repressions and therefore to a concealing of their sexual identity. But, asylum seekers must not be distrusted if they are not openly prepared to reveal intimate aspects of their lives during credibility exams. Those “tests” on their sexual orientation must be rejected!

A state that persecutes LGBTIQ+ and punishes homosexuality cannot be qualified as a safe country of origin! Regulations on so-called safe third countries must be revised with regards to the security of LGBTIQ+ and women in general – and with regards to a necessary medical care (e.g. of HIV positive people) in particular. Refugees must have free access to language interpreters that are educated and sensitive in LGBTIQ+ issues before being interviewed by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (German abbreviation: BAMF). The permanent existence of medical, mental and social care for people without a cleared residence status must be ensured. Staff that work with refugees have to be sensitized and educated in LGBTIQ+ topics.

20. We demand of the Senate of Hamburg to realize an ongoing adjustment of the youth work funds for LGBTIQ+ to the actual needs.

Especially young queer people need particular support by public institutions during their still difficult coming out process. Initiatives on prevention and education are more important than ever! That is why we call on the Senate of Hamburg to ensure during their budget discussions that organizations, institutions and agencies receive a solid funding which allows them to realize their work. Cuts are not an option!

21. We demand an active fostering of the culture of remembrance of LGBTIQ+ history, especially with regards to the persecution of homosexuals on a city, regional and federal level.

We demand the insertion of LGBTIQ+ history in the Hamburg Museum: we are also part of this city and its history! Furthermore, we demand ongoing & close networks of research on LGBTIQ+ history, that means a greater financial support of the Fachverband für Homosexualität und Geschichte (FHG e.V., = “specialist association for homosexuality and history”). We welcome a stronger participation of the community at dealing with LGBTIQ+ history. Finally, a significantly better reception of research results is necessary.

22. We demand the consideration of LGBTIQ+ community in the appointment of representative to the NDR-Rundfunkrat (Northern German public Broadcasting Board) as well as in the work of the media council of the Medienanstalt Hamburg / Schleswig Holstein (regional media authority for Hamburg & Schleswig-Holstein)

The NDR-Rundfunkrat (Northern German public Broadcasting Board) mirrors the range of social life in Northern Germany: culture, economy, politics, sports, churches, migrants and many other organizations send members into this committee voluntarily. LGBTIQ+ topics must be considered appropriately. The same applies to the media council of the Medienanstalt Hamburg / Schleswig-Holstein (Medienanstalt Hamburg / Schleswig-Holstein) which is responsible for private broadcasting initiatives. Moreover, Hamburg Pride demands the appointment of a representative for LGBTIQ+ issues into the committee of the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (FSK, = Voluntary Self-Regulatory Body for the legally regulated protection of minors).