German president asks gay people to forgive him

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German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has asked for forgiveness for Nazi persecurtions against gay men during Holocaust. The president was speaking on Sunday at a ceremony in Berlin, which marked the 10th anniversary of a monument commemorating the gay men persecuted by the Nazis. He honored the men who sacrifised their lives, love, faith and dignity. Some 50,000 homosexuals – mostly gay men – were officially sentenced by the Nazis, although up to 100,000 were arrested. It’s estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 were sent to concentration camps. Other punishments included torture and prison. The President added that these people are still facing injustice, and he is deeply sorry for it. He noted that gay men continued to be punished under the application of the notorious Paragraph 175, according to which homosexuality was illegal. “I call to all gays, lesbians, bisexuals, all queers, transsexuals and intersexuals in our country: Your sexual orientation and your sexual identity enjoy the protection of our state without question,” the President said, “Your dignity is also as inviolable as it should have been right from the start.”

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