Germany Clears Record For 50,000 Men Convicted Under Anti-Gay Law

Men who were sentenced to ten years of hard labor for being gay will receive $3,300 in compensation for what they endured, as well as an additional $1,600 for every year they spent in prison.

Over 50,000 gay men who were previously convicted and persecuted over the last century were recently offered compensation and recognition in Germany.

According to GoodNewsNetwork, of the thousands of men who were charged with the “crime” of being gay, only 5,000 remain alive. Nonetheless, their criminal records under article 175 of the penal code have been wiped, and each victim will be offered $3,300 in compensation for what they endured. Every victim will also receive $1,600 for every year that they spent in prison.

The measure was approved by the German Parliament on Thursday and is being celebrated by activists who support gender equality. Some have spent years pursuing the act of justice.

Paragraph 175 of the penal code first went into effect in 1871. Enforced by Nazis in WWII, it sentenced men to 10 years of hard labor for “engaging in sexual acts contrary to nature.” There was no legislation addressing gay women. The article was later repealed in East Germany in 1958; West Germany, on the other hand, dropped the legislation in 1994.

Reportedly, the sentences of the men convicted during the war were overturned by the German Parliament in 2002. Only recently were the convictions forgave, however. Said Sebastian Bickerich of the government’s anti-discrimination office: “More than two decades after article 175 was finally wiped from the books, this stain on democratic Germany’s legal history has been removed.”

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