Germany will pay compensation to people charged of homosexuality

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BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 21: Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) arrives for the weekly German federal Cabinet meeting on September 21, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. High on the meeting's agenda was discussion of policies pertaining to reportings of company financial information. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

It was officially confirmed that the state is going to financially compensate the physical and moral harm to German men convicted over the ‘crime’ of being gay when homosexuality was against the law in the country.

Paragraph 175 was part of Germany’s criminal code until 1994 and made sex between men illegal. Over 140,000 men were convicted under this paragraph. Around 50,000 were prosecuted. A draft law will be formally announced this month after the initial announcement was made in May. Records of those convicted will also be cleared. The country’s Justice Minister said that the amount of compensation is not fixed, it will depend on each certain case.

East Germany stopped applying the law in 1968 and West Germany followed suit a year later. However, the code was not completely abolished until 1994. Nazi-era convictions of homosexuals were lifted in 2002 but there has not yet been a pardon for those sentenced outside of the Nazi timescale. The anti-gay law was strict during this time and led to thousands of gay and bisexual men being taken away to concentration camps. Following the war, gay men were still often arrested and put into prison. Members of the LGBT community often lost their jobs and homes and suffered social exclusion.

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