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Germany to Compensate Gay Troops for Decades of Discrimination

German soldiers

Germany is planning to compensate members of the military who suffered antigay discrimination, the nation’s Ministry of Defense has announced.

“The ministry said it intends to present a draft bill in September to address the injustices done to those soldiers who had been subjected to punitive measures by military disciplinary courts,” Deutsche Welle reports.

It was unclear if the compensation would be monetary or in another form, but the publication notes that some gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers were unjustly refused promotions, so they received lower salaries or pensions than their straight peers. Germany began allowing LGB people to serve openly in the military in 2000, but in some cases discrimination continued. Transgender people have been able to serve openly since 2014.

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer met in March with groups representing LGBTQ+ troops and apologized for decades of discrimination. “I am sorry for this practice, which was standard policy at the time,” she said. “I apologize to those who had to suffer under it.”

“Today, it is not about tolerance,” she added. “It is about respect, appreciation and esteem. That is why it is important and right to come to terms with the past, initiate processes of change and open the Bundeswehr [the German armed forces] for a new way of thinking.”

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