Twenty years after reunification, there is close cooperation between gay activists in eastern and western Germany. But important differences in gay life still remain.
As Germany celebrates the 20th anniversary of reunification, the former East-West divide in the country's gay and lesbian rights movement has all but disappeared. photo
There is currently close cooperation between gay and lesbian activists in the eastern and western states, according to Eduard Stapel, founder of several gay rights groups in former East Germany. Unlike the United States, where gay rights vary widely from state to state, the legal rights of gays and lesbians are virtually the same in the East and West.
"That's apart from the fact that we've made slightly more progress in eastern Germany, with discrimination bans in the Berlin, Brandenburg and Thuringia state constitutions," Stapel told Deutsche Welle. "But that has little effect on everyday life."
Social acceptance of homosexuality is also roughly the same in eastern and western states, according to a 2001 study by the opinion research group TNS Emnid. The study found that nearly the same percentage of people in the East as in the West say homosexuality is no longer objectionable. The highest percentage of acceptance was in Berlin, while the lowest was in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate.Read more: