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Germany Parliament passes bill to compensate those persecuted under anti-homosexuality laws

[JURIST] The lower house of the German Parliament [official website] on Thursday passed a bill [PDF, in German] to compensate thousands of individuals who had been persecuted and imprisoned for their sexuality. The law under which the individuals had been convicted is paragraph 175 [text] of Germany's criminal code, and was put in place in 1871. The scope of the law was broadened under the Nazi regime, and was used to convict men as recently as 1967. Individuals who were wrongfully convicted are expected to receive [DW report] €3,000 for each conviction and €1,500 for each year in jail as compensation. The bill will still need to be voted on by the parliament's upper house, although it has already announced that the bill will be approved. Stating that "The norm created unimaginable suffering, which led to self-denial, sham marriages, harassment and blackmail" Germany Justice Minister Heiko Maas [official profile, in German] called the Bundestag decision a "belated act of justice."

LGBTQ+ rights and anti-homosexuality laws have been a matter of international controversy for decades, and have been receiving increasing attention and scrutiny in the past few years. In April, Nigeria prosecutors in Kaduna charged 53 men [JURIST report] for celebrating an LGBTQ wedding in violation of the state's law against 'unlawful assembly' and the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act [text, PDF]. A day earlier Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] and other advocacy groups had urged [JURIST report] UN Secretary General António Guterres [official website] to investigate alleged abuse against LGBT people in Chechnya. According to the open letter, about 100 gay and bisexual men were detained, tortured, murdered or went missing under the authority of Chechen officials. The previous week the US Department of Justice [official website] dropped [JURIST report] a federal lawsuit against the state of North Carolina over a bill requiring transgender people to use the public bathroom associated with their birth gender. Earlier the same month the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld [JURIST report] a lower court decision overruling the state of Nebraska's long-time ban on same sex partner foster parenting. In February the UK Ministry of Justice announced [JURIST report] the enactment of the Policing and Crime Act [text, PDF], a law very similar to the Germany bill, posthumously pardoning thousands of gay and bisexual men who were convicted of sexual offenses

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