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 Post subject: Re: Germany and sex
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Top dating tips for migrants from Germany's 'Mr Flirt'
28 November 2016

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) -- Horst Wenzel, dubbed Germany's "Mr. Flirt," has been volunteering his services to teach young Muslim men who grew up in vastly different cultures how to approach women in Germany. Normally, Wenzel's students are wealthy but shy German men, but after the arrival of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers in Germany - most of them young single men - he decided to offer his advice to migrants as well.

Here's some of his advice:
- THE APPROACH: If you see a woman you like, don't ask her if you can talk to her; just do it.

- FOCUS YOUR QUESTIONS: If you fire non-stop questions at her, she'll run away. Come up with something that makes her talk about herself.

- TAKE THE INITIATIVE: Even Germany's emancipated women often like the man to take the initiative. Surprise her with unique pick-up lines; suggest original dates.

- UNUSUAL COMPLIMENTS: Don't tell her she has pretty eyes; she's heard that a million times. Come up with something more unique: "I love the scent of your perfume," or "your voice is very beautiful."

- UNIQUE DATES: Don't ask her out for coffee; make it the theater, a concert, rock climbing. Or plan something in the future to show you're really interested: Invite her on a trip to Amsterdam or Paris.

- BODY CONTACT: Take her hand (not necessarily on the first date!) and see how she reacts. If she stiffens up, that's a bad sign. If she responds with tenderness, you're on the right track.

- SEX AND LOVE: It's OK to have sex on the first, second or third date; sex is no big deal in Germany. But don't tell her you love her for at least three months. German women can't stand clinginess.

Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Germany and sex
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:22 pm 
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German parliament votes to annul gay men's convictions
By GEIR MOULSON
22 June 2017

BERLIN (AP) -- German lawmakers on Thursday approved a plan to annul the convictions of thousands of gay men under a law criminalizing homosexuality that was enforced enthusiastically in post-World War II West Germany.

Parliament's lower house voted unanimously for the bill to cancel convictions under Paragraph 175. Justice Minister Heiko Maas described the annulment as "a late act of justice."

Volker Beck, a lawmaker with the opposition Greens and longtime campaigner for gay rights, said Thursday was a "historic day." "It is good that, for many homosexuals, the stigma of being criminal is finally being removed," he told parliament. "It is less good that this won't reach many, because they have died in the meantime."

The legislation criminalizing homosexuality was introduced in the 19th century, toughened under Nazi rule and retained in that form even by democratic West Germany, which convicted some 50,000 men between 1949 and 1969. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969 but the legislation wasn't taken off the books entirely until 1994.

The new bill foresees compensation of 3,000 euros ($3,340) for each conviction, plus 1,500 euros for every year of jail time that convicted men started. It says at most 5,000 applications for compensation are expected.

In 2000, parliament approved a resolution regretting the fact that Paragraph 175 was retained after the war. Two years later, it annulled the convictions of gay men under Nazi rule but not post-war convictions.

The planned legal rehabilitation will be automatic. It will also apply to men convicted in communist East Germany, which had a milder version of Paragraph 175 and decriminalized homosexuality in 1968. About 4,300 men are believed to have been convicted there. In all, some 68,300 people were convicted under various forms of Paragraph 175 in both German states before it was scrapped in 1994. Parliament's upper house still has to clear the legislation.

In addition to individual compensation, the government plans to give an annual 500,000 euros ($557,500) in funding to a foundation that is documenting the stories of men convicted under Paragraph 175.

In October, the British government announced that thousands of men convicted under now-abolished laws outlawing homosexuality would receive posthumous pardons, while those still alive will be eligible to have their criminal records wiped clean.

Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Germany and sex
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:40 pm 
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Germany legalizes same-sex marriage after Merkel U-turn
By DAVID RISING
30 June 2017

BERLIN (AP) -- German lawmakers voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, a move widely supported across the country that brings Germany in line with many of its Western peers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel voted against the measure, but paved the way for its passage by allowing members of her conservative party to vote according to their conscience.

Lawmakers voted 393-226 to legalize "marriage for everybody," with four abstentions. Underlining the delicate political tightrope that Merkel walked, the "no" votes came entirely from her conservative bloc, although some prominent party members, including Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her chief of staff Peter Altmaier, voted for it.

"This is a historic day," said Greens lawmaker Volker Beck, who leapt to his feet to applaud once the result was announced and was showered with confetti by supporters. "It is really an amazing victory," said Beck, who has campaigned around Europe for gay rights.

Gay couples outside the chancellery, not far from parliament, kissed and hugged after the decision was announced, waving rainbow flags and carrying signs saying "Marriage for everybody." "We've been happily married for eight years, but we could never call it that," said 38-year-old Shoshana Brandt, standing alongside her partner and their son. "We are happy and proud that we are now equal and we can live our love."

After years of lukewarm opposition to gay marriage following her party's line, Merkel said Monday that lawmakers could take up the issue as a question of "conscience," allowing members of her conservative coalition to individually vote for it if they wanted. That prompted her center-left rivals to call for a quick vote on the issue, adding it to the agenda Friday on parliament's last regular session before Germany's Sept. 24 national election.

Berlin Christian Democrat Jan-Marco Luczak, one of 75 lawmakers from Merkel's bloc who voted for the measure, urged his fellow party members to join him. "It would be absurd to try and protect marriage by preventing people to marry," he told lawmakers in the debate ahead of the vote.

Many applauded Merkel's comments that opened the way for the vote, but Social Democrat lawmaker Johannes Kahrs noted that the chancellor has been a longtime opponent of gay marriage. "Many thanks for nothing," he said bluntly.

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but has not granted them full marital rights, which include the possibility of jointly adopting children, even though gay marriage enjoyed some 80 percent support, according to recent polls.

More than a dozen countries in Europe have legalized gay marriage, all in the western part of the continent, and Germany had been the largest where it was not yet legal. Almost a dozen others have some sort of same-sex unions or civil partnerships, according to the Pew Research Center.

Amnesty International praised the law as a "victory for equality." "Germany has become the 23rd country to recognize same-sex marriage and has sent a clear message to the world that gay and lesbian people should be entitled to the same rights as everyone else, and to full and equal protection of the law," Amnesty's Europe director John Dalhuisen said.

The new law won't take effect for several months because it still needs to pass the upper house of parliament and be approved by the president, although those are formalities. It is also expected to face legal challenges.

Merkel told reporters later that her vote against the measure was based upon her reading of the country's law concerning marriage but added that she did think gay couples should be able to adopt.

Germany's constitution is vague, saying only that "marriage and the family shall enjoy the protection of the state," but Merkel said that for her, "marriage as defined by the law is the marriage of a man and a woman." Still, she urged all views to be respected. "It was a long, intensive, and for many also an emotional discussion. That goes for me personally too. And I'm hopeful not only that there will be respect for either side's opinions, but that it will also bring about more peace and cohesion in society," she said.

All of Merkel's potential coalition partners after the September election, including the center-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same-sex marriage to be legalized. Analysts have suggested that by opening the door to gay marriage, Merkel removed yet another issue that her opponents could have used against her in an election year - a nod to her pragmatic approach to politics. In her nearly 12 years as chancellor, Merkel has moved her party to the center and away from conservative orthodoxy, speeding up Germany's exit from nuclear power and ending military conscription, among other moves.

Frank Jordans contributed to this report.
Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Germany and sex
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:42 am 
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Scepticism as German law to protect prostitutes takes effect
By Wiebke Doerdrechter
1 July 2017

Hamburg (dpa) – Leila, a 26-year-old from Bulgaria, earns her living as a prostitute in a bordello near the city of Hamburg's world-famous red-light Reeperbahn area, where on Saturday new regulations aimed at protecting sex workers from coercion and exploitation take effect.

But Leila is sceptical. "I do think it good that we are to be better protected," she says. "But the new regulations will achieve just the opposite."

Like Leila, others in the "oldest profession" are upset about the regulations going into place across Germany. Among the regulations, sex workers are to register with authorities, thereby losing their anonymity. Also, prostitutes must undergo regular health check consultations. As to specific sex practices, condoms are now required by law, and such things as a "gangbang party" and the "flat rate" are banned.

"I don't have a registered address in Germany, and so I can't register with the authorities," she said, noting this is the case for many women in the industry. "If we are caught without the registration papers, we face being fined. This scares us," Leila said, adding that she is now thinking of moving to a more remote area of Hamburg.

The scepticism among the sex workers stands in contrast to what appear to be the sensible aims of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs to provide sex workers with greater self-determination and protect them from being coerced into prostitution and exploitation. With the new compulsory registration, the sex workers would have to register by name, address and with a photograph, and carry the papers with them.

An association called Dona Carmen, which works to protect the rights of prostitutes, has filed suit against the new law in the country's constitutional court in Karlsruhe. Sex workers were being "subjected to a system of demeaning controls" and "robbed of their basic rights," the association alleges.

Back on the Reeperbahn, a sex customer named Thomas is sceptical. Thomas, 52, regularly goes to "gangbang parties" where a prostitute has sex with several men. "I ask myself, why?" he says about the bans on this and the so-called "flatrate" practice. He insists that at the parties he attends there is no coercion. Now, the electrician predicts, the parties won't disappear - they'll simply move to private apartments under the guise of being a "pornography film shooting."

Thorsten Eitner, operator of the Pink Palace on the Reeperbahn, says he cannot yet say specifically what might change in his establishment. What is certain is that he will post a sign on the door about the mandatory use of condoms.

Lada Jana, who operates a dominatrix studio, says the new regulations came as "a shock" to her. The mother of two, she points out that in the future she must go to the obligatory health check consultations, even though she does not engage in sex with her clients. "This is discriminatory," she complains. In addition, she must now meet new building code regulations for her studio, such as separate toilets for her and her clients. "We know that many prostitutes shy away from revealing their activity to the authorities, because they fear becoming socially ostracised," says Marcel Schweitzer, spokesman for Hamburg's Social Welfare Office.

As a result, during the legislation draft process, the city had spoken out against introducing the compulsory registration. All the same, Hamburg will also be holding the obligatory health consultations with sex workers from October on.

Source: dpa

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 Post subject: Re: Germany and sex
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:18 pm 
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German president OKs gay marriage law, takes effect in the autumn
21 July 2017

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's president has signed legislation legalizing gay marriage, his office said Friday, paving the way for the bill to take effect this autumn.

Lawmakers approved the bill on June 30 in parliament's last session before Germany's September election. The move became possible after Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservative party had long been reluctant to budge on the issue, said she would allow its lawmakers to vote according to their conscience. The presidential office said President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the legislation on Thursday. That means it will come into force Oct. 1 at the earliest.

Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but until now has not granted them full marital rights including the possibility of jointly adopting children. The change brings it into line with many other western European countries. "Marriage is a question of love and responsibility and not of gender," Katarina Barley, the minister for families, said. Barley, whose center-left party pushed for legalizing same-sex marriage, said that "marriage for everyone makes Germany a more modern country."

Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Germany and sex
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:42 am 
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Germany celebrates first gay marriages
By David Courbet
1 October 2017

Berlin (AFP) - Two German men made history Sunday by saying "I do" and becoming the first same-sex couple to marry after decades of struggle, but campaigners say the battle for equal rights isn't over.

Wedding bells rang out in Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover and other German cities where local authorities have exceptionally opened their doors on a Sunday, allowing weddings on the day the law comes into effect.

Bodo Mende, 60, and partner Karl Kreile, 59, exchanged their vows at a desk decked out with white flowers and rainbow flags. Then, they turned to offer a shot of their first embrace as a married couple to the throng of photographers and TV crews from around the world who packed the south Berlin registry office alongside friends and family. "I'm unbelievably satisfied, this is extremely symbolic to be recognised as a completely normal couple and no longer to have a second-class marriage," Kreile said after the two cut a slice of rainbow cake.

Mende and Kreile, longtime gay marriage campaigners who have been together since 1979, wanted to tie the knot as soon as possible -- after being among the first to enter a civil partnership back in 2002. The dash to exchange vows comes three months after lawmakers voted to give Germany's roughly 94,000 same-sex couples the right to marry, following a shift in position by Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Finally, equal law for equal love," tweeted Justice Minister Heiko Maas, as Germany became the 15th European nation to legalise gay marriage.

The Netherlands led the way in 2000, followed piecemeal by other European countries including Spain, Sweden, Britain and France. Same-sex relationships have become so normalised that polls show around 75 percent of Germans are in favour of gay marriage.

"It's a marvellous day. We're all feeling festive and happy," lawmaker and Social Democratic Party (SPD) gay and lesbian affairs commissioner Johannes Kahrs told AFP from Hamburg, where he was best man at the wedding of two friends. "But we would gladly have had it sooner. Thank you for nothing, Frau Merkel," he added, the reproach he flung at Merkel in a stormy speech in parliament when the law was passed.

By extending existing law to same-sex pairs, Germany's gay couples automatically gain the same tax advantages and adoption rights as heterosexual families.

Along with Germany's Greens party, the gay and lesbian rights organisation LSVD began its battle for equal marriage rights around the year 1990. But progress was slow and since 2001 gay couples have had to make do with a civil partnership law, broadened over the years to remove more and more gaps between gay and straight couples' rights.

The final breakthrough came quite suddenly in the end, sparked by Merkel's unexpected announcement in June that she would allow her conservative MPs to vote their conscience on the issue. Merkel said her thinking changed after a "memorable experience" when she met a lesbian couple who lovingly care for eight foster children in her Baltic coast constituency.

Her surprise shift in position -- after 12 years of blockade by her Christian Democrats and their Bavarian allies -- was seen by some as a cynical ploy to rob her challengers of a popular cause ahead of September's general election. The chancellor herself voted against the bill, arguing that the German constitution still defines marriage as "the union of a man and a woman".

June was a memorable month for gay rights in Germany, as lawmakers also voted to quash the convictions of thousands of men convicted under a Nazi-era law against same-sex relationships which had remained on the statute book until 1994. But there are still an array of issues familiar across Western democracies, like blood donations or access to reproductive medicine, where homosexuals can be treated differently.

And the constitution must still be amended to fully protect against discrimination over gender or sexual orientation, Kahrs said. "These are all things that we'll tackle bit by bit," he said. "The important thing is that we've pushed through the opening of marriage, and that's the signal everyone needed."

Source: Yahoo! AFP

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 Post subject: Re: Germany and sex
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Top German court strengthens intersex identity rights
By GEIR MOULSON
8 November 2017

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's highest court has decided that people must be allowed to be entered in official records as neither male nor female, saying in a ruling published Wednesday that authorities should create a third identity or scrap gender entries altogether.

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled on a case in which a plaintiff, identified by advocacy group Dritte Option only as Vanja, born in 1989, sought to have their entry in the birth register changed from "female" to "inter/diverse" or "diverse." Officials rejected the application on the grounds that the law only allows for children to be registered as male or female, or for the gender to be left blank.

The plaintiff argued that that was a violation of their personal rights. In a three-year legal battle, Vanja provided courts with a genetic analysis showing the plaintiff has one X chromosome but no second sex chromosome. Women have two X chromosomes, while men have one X and one Y chromosome.

The supreme court found that the law protects sexual identity, which has a "key position" in how individuals perceive themselves and are perceived by others. It said that "the sexual identity of those people who can be assigned neither to the male nor the female sex is also protected," and said the constitution also protects them against discrimination because of their gender.

The government has until the end of 2018 to draw up new rules. The court said that authorities have two ways to ensure that the rules comply with the constitution. It said that they could decide to do without any gender entry in civil registers but could also "create the possibility for the affected people to choose another positive designation of their sex that is not male or female." It didn't specify what that should be.

Dritte Option, which has campaigned for a third gender option and was involved in preparing the case, wrote on Twitter that it was "completely overwhelmed and speechless." It added that "this borders on a small revolution."

The minister for families in Chancellor Angela Merkel's outgoing government, Katarina Barley, said a third gender option was "overdue." Barley's center-left Social Democrats have vowed to go into opposition after Germany's September election, but Merkel's conservatives are negotiating with two socially liberal parties to form a new administration. Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth said the government is studying the verdict and will abide by the court's December 2018 deadline.

Source: AP

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