Germany’s health minister has been subjected to homophobic abuse by anti-lockdown protesters in the German city of Bergisch Gladbach. The openly gay conservative was greeted by shouts of ‘shame’ and ‘gay pig’ as he confronted a crowd outside of an event being held ahead of the North-Rhine Westphalia local elections.

Jens Spahn has served as Germany’s Federal Health Minister after being elected to the position in 2018, and has been a key player in Germany’s handling of the pandemic. In a video of the altercation, Sphan removes his mask to address the group of protesters only to be drowned out by their vial and disgusting remarks.

Responding to the incident, Spahn told the Rheinische Post newspaper that, “a dialogue must be ensured between officials and coronavirus deniers. But it only works if both sides are willing to listen… When people shout, spit and insult each other, it just doesn’t work.”

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 There is not doubt that Sphan, despite having recently experienced a surge in popularity among German voters, as Federal Health Minister has also become the poster boy for dissent among alt-right factions, COVID deniers and anti-maskers.

The protesters are believed to be a part of a larger minority who are become increasingly violent and hostile in their protests against Germany’s coronavirus restrictions. As a security precaution a planned campaign event in nearby city Münster has been moved indoors.

Shortly after video of the attack emerged, Germany’s economy minister Peter Altmaier, took to Twitter, blasting demonstrators, saying “Anyone who spits at and molests democratically elected politicians infringes the German constitution and makes an outsider of themselves.”

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