CAPE TOWN, January 17 (ANA) - In a role which was created under the new government in its bid for cultural modernisation, Sven Lehmann has become Germany’s first-ever LGBTQ+ commissioner for the Acceptance of Sexual and Gender Diversity.
The 42-year-old member of parliament for the Greens has been campaigning for 20 years and stepped into his new role earlier this month after the Social Democrat-Green-Liberal coalition ended 16 years of conservative-led rule.
According to Deutsche Welle, Lehmann will lead the government’s National Action Plan for Sexual and Gender Diversity and work on a range of projects affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
“Everyone should be able to live freely, safely, and with equal rights,” said Lehmann.
“We also need a broad strategy to combat hatred directed at groups — which explicitly includes 'queerphobia',” he said.
While Germany has had a reputation of being progressive on sexual equality, it only allowed same-sex marriages in 2017. However, there are still some laws which continue to discriminate against same-sex couples.
In an interview with Tagesschau on Sunday, Lehmann said that “family is as colourful as life” and that family law should be reflected in that way.
One of the laws he is eager to change is that for lesbian couples with a child. The current law states that the child only has one parent, which forces the other parent to adopt the child.
“If lesbian couples have a child, both women should be considered legal mothers,” said Lehmann.
“That (adoption) is tedious and expensive and a disadvantage compared to heterosexual marriages,” he said.
Furthermore, Lehmann also has his sights firmly set on educating police, hospitals and the judiciary on how to deal with sexual and gender diversity in the fight against discrimination.
He added that Germany still has a long way to go and lots to do in solidarity with neighbours such as Hungary and Poland where there have been many struggles.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher