Twenty Years After the Wall: "Ich bin...

Twenty Years After the Wall: "Ich bin schwul und das ist auch gut so"

There are 7 comments on the www.advocate.com story from Aug 21, 2009, titled Twenty Years After the Wall: "Ich bin schwul und das ist auch gut so". In it, www.advocate.com reports that:

Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, a.k.a. "Wowi," could easily pose as the Euro-pol poster child for coming out on the job. The public statement he made six days before his 2001 election, "Ich bin schwul und das ist auch gut so" -- "I'm gay and that's a good thing" -- has become a catchphrase for Germans emerging from the closet; and the Social Democrat's approval ratings remain high, currently an 8.9 out of 10 on the site of international think tank City Mayors. Paparazzi have no trouble snagging shots of him with his partner, neurosurgeon Jörn Kubicki, with whom he's lived for four years; the couple met at Bar Centrale on Yorckstrasse in 1993.

As the city celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall tumbling down with a series of events and exhibitions, Advocate.com checks in with the mayor on the state of his LGBT nation and collects travel tips for the Wowi-branded "poor but sexy" capital where life is still a queer cabaret.

Advocate.com: Germany, which established domestic-partnership legislation for same-sex couples in 2001, has some of Europe's most progressive laws for LGBT people, but there are still more steps to full equality. How would you assess the current situation for gays in Berlin? What areas of law still need work?

Klaus Wowereit: The climate in Berlin is one of tolerance and openness, as well as liberality and internationality. That is what makes our city so attractive to gays and lesbians from all over the world. At the same time, however, we have to recognize that there are still occasional attacks, like the vandalism of the memorial to gays and lesbians persecuted under National Socialism. Both I and the general public condemned these attacks. Unfortunately, there are still some die-hard fanatics out there. That is one reason why I also support the initiative of Germany’s Lesben- und Schwulenverband (Gay and Lesbian Association) for an addition to the constitutional article that makes equality a basic right in Germany; no one should be disadvantaged or privileged because of his or her sexual identity, either.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at www.advocate.com.

Since: Dec 08

Toronto, ON, Canada

#1 Aug 21, 2009
Wonder if he has any higher political aspirations...
(it would be nice to see a gay Reichskanzler)

“God loves LGBT folks”

Since: Jun 09

Topeka KS

#2 Aug 21, 2009
He is a doll!!!
csw

Pittston, PA

#3 Aug 21, 2009
Good for him!!
would make a great T-Shirt!! I can just see the dazed and confused looks on peoples' faces. What a great conversation starter!

“Just call me Das. ”

Since: Jul 07

Chicago, IL

#4 Aug 21, 2009
"Wowi!" is right!

Ausgezeichnet, Herr Wowereit. Danke.
Rocco

Chambly, Canada

#5 Aug 21, 2009
It's not true that Germany has some of Europe's most progressive laws. Actually Germany is rather backward and conservative in LGBT issues. Five European countries have marriage equality, and the civil unions in the UK, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic, and others are equal to marriage in everything but name. German life partnerships convey comparatively few rights and are only one step above having nothing.

Since: Jan 09

Central NJ

#6 Aug 22, 2009
Ja, Aber ist der Gebot gute fur das Trans auch?
Ihr, Terry
Marco

Ebersbach, Germany

#7 Aug 22, 2009
Rocco wrote:
It's not true that Germany has some of Europe's most progressive laws. Actually Germany is rather backward and conservative in LGBT issues. Five European countries have marriage equality, and the civil unions in the UK, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic, and others are equal to marriage in everything but name. German life partnerships convey comparatively few rights and are only one step above having nothing.
@Rocco
How can you say that? Have you lived here?

As an American who moved to Germany 7 years ago in order to be with my spouse to whom I am legally married to, I have to tell you... Sorry, but you're dead wrong. Since America doesn't recognize our relationship for immigration purposes, we had no other choice.

I must say though, the domestic partnership laws here are equal in every way to marriage EXCEPT in name and one area in tax law. The second issue is either about to be fixed or already has.

So, unless you've lived here, participate in the political system, pay taxes here and actively participate in live here, I wouldn't be so quick to over generalize. It makes you appear dumb.

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