MORE than 50,000 men who were found guilty of homosexual acts in Germany will have their criminal records expunged and will be eligible for compensation through a central fund.

The men were convicted between 1946 and 1969 under the Paragraph 175 law which was introduced in 1872 and was tightened by the Nazis during their time controlling Germany. Homosexuality was decriminalised in Germany in 1969.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas revealed the plans to annul the men’s criminal records in a statement say the government wanted to make amends for its history.

“We will never be able to remove these outrages committed by this country but we want to rehabilitate the victims,” he said.

“The convicted homosexual men should no longer have to live with the black mark of a criminal conviction.

“The burden of guilt lies with the state because it made the lives of so many people so difficult. Paragraph 175 was from the very beginning unconstitutional. The old convictions are unjust [and] do huge injury to the human dignity of each convicted man.”

German LGBTI groups have urged the government to move quickly on the legislation.

“Time is pressing for victims of homosexual persecution to get their unfair convictions lifted and see their dignity restored,” The Lesbian and Gay Association told German news outlet, Der Spiegel Online.

 

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