Germany appoints first queer commissioner
Green Party lawmaker Sven Lehmann was appointed as Germany’s commissioner for the acceptance of sexual and gender diversity. As the ‘Queer-Beauftragter der Bundesregierung,’ [Queer Commissioner of the Federal Government] Lehmann will oversee a LGBTQ national action plan for the first time in the country’s history.
He has been a member of the Bundestag, the German parliament, since 2017. Since 2018 he has been spokesperson for queer policy and social policy within the Green Party along with his fellow parliamentarian, Ursula “Ulle” Schauws, a member of the Alliance ’90/The Greens party.
In a statement (translated from German) posted to his social media accounts, Lehmann said;
“The Federal Government appointed me today as the Commissioner for the Acceptance of Sexual and Gender Diversity (‘Queer Commissioner’)!
The newly created office of the Queer Commissioner shows how important it is for the federal government to accept diversity. Everyone should be able to live freely, safely and with equal rights. Based on the guiding principle of self-determination, the new federal government will pursue a progressive queer policy and also align family policy with the social reality of different types of families.
The protection of people on the basis of their sexual and gender identity must be ensured in the Basic Law and the fundamental rights of trans, inter and non-binary people must finally be fully enforced.
We also need a broad strategy to combat group-related enmity — including explicitly against queerophobia. To this end, together with the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, I will launch a national action plan for the acceptance and protection of sexual and gender diversity. Germany should become a pioneer in the fight against discrimination!”
Lehmann’s appointment and the creation of the office was applauded by LGBTQ+ advocates across Germany.
Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) said the newly created office is “another important signal for the queer political awakening promised by the coalition government.”
Lehmann has to become “the driving force in the government in order to implement the queer political projects promised in the coalition agreement,” Henny Engels from the LSVD board told state-owned media outlet Deutsche Welle.
“Right now he should urgently endeavor to ensure that LGBTQ+ people are explicitly included in the admission program for refugees from Afghanistan, which was recently presented by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock,” Engels said.
The German Society for Trans Identity and Intersexuality (DGTI) also said it looked forward to working with Lehmann on the path to a “better world for all trans, inter and non-binary people.”