Germany has been one of the most progressive European nations on the issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights. There is legal recognition of same-sex couples. Registered life partnerships (effectively, a form of civil union) have been instituted since 2001, giving same-sex couples rights and obligations in areas such as inheritance, alimony, health insurance, immigration and name change. In 2004, this act was amended to also give registered same-sex couples adoption rights (stepchild adoption only), as well as reform previously cumbersome dissolution procedures with regard to division of property and alimony.
Berlin has been Germany's gay capital since the late 19th Century, when a thriving homosexual subculture included everything from gay bars to a Lesbian bowling club. The Third Reich brought hard times for gays and lesbians, but today die Szene is as lively as it was a hundred years ago, and Berliners have elected Germany's first openly gay mayor.
We took the time to talk with Holger Jakobs and Jeffery Johnson about their experience living as gay men in German. Click here to listen.