This is Germany’s first ever LGBTQ+ commissioner
42-year-old Sven Lehmann was given the title of:
Commissioner for the Acceptance of Sexual and Gender Diversity
It's a role created under the new coalition government's plan
to push for cultural modernization
SOUNDBITE) (German) FIRST EVER GERMAN QUEER COMMISSIONER, SVEN LEHMANN, SAYING: "I became involved in justice issues and social issues very early on, and then of course when I came out myself at 22 and met my husband, with whom I am still together, I also noticed how non self-explanatory it still is for many people to simply be able to say I love a man, I love a woman. And that's why it was clear to me that I wanted to make a difference on these issues. I have been campaigning for 20 years and now I am also fighting for these issues in the federal government."
Germany has the reputation of being progressive on sexual equality
but it only allowed same-sex marriages in 2017
Some laws continue to discriminate against same-sex couples
Children born to two women still only have one legal parent
until the other goes through a lengthy and expensive adoption process
"As I have said: It is nothing more than equality for all people. But it's also nothing less. And as long as we are not there we still have work to do."
"We still have a long way to go in Germany. But when I look at countries like Hungary or Poland, for example, who are right in Germany's neighborhood, where the state and the church really do agitate against minorities as part of their official program, where it is partly forbidden for people to adapt to the gender they identify with, so to speak, or to change their identity. Or, for example, in Russia, where it is forbidden to kiss in the street and there is a fear of being sent to prison for it. So we still have a lot to do internationally and the solidarity with Hungary and with the people in Hungary and those affected was really great. And I would like to see more of that."