The LGBT grouping within Austria’s Social Democrat Party has come under fire for suggesting that gay migrants should be given separate lodgings to protect them from attacks by fellow migrants and their Muslim translators.
Austria’s Lesbian and Gay Social Democrats (SOHO) filed a resolution to be debated at the party’s annual conference in Vienna, calling for dedicated shelters for gay migrants to be established. They cited the continuing threat to personal safety suffered by gay migrants accommodated along with Muslim migrants from North Africa and the Middle East.
A number of African and Middle Eastern countries hold a death penalty for homosexuality on their statute books.
“Lesbian, gay, trans and intersex refugees are often in a particularly vulnerable position and are exploited and discriminated against in many ways”, a spokesman for SOHO told the party, while introducing the resolution. She said it is therefore necessary to “create spaces and structures in which they are protected.”
The idea has been slated by their political rivals in the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Vienna’s FPÖ Deputy Mayor Johann Gudenus laughingly told krone.at that the resolution showed the Democrats to be busying themselves with trivial matters, saying: “If these are the only problems that are currently important, then good night, Vienna.”
And it has come under fire by fellow Social Democrats, who have said the resolution is proof that the party is being influenced “by certain ultra-left factions”.
But SOHO members may feel a little hard done by, as elsewhere in Europe dedicated gay only migrant centres are already springing up in response to the scores of attacks against gay migrants which have been recorded across Europe since the onset of the migrant crisis.
Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Federation alone documented 106 separate cases of violence against gay and transgender migrants in the Berlin region between August 2015 and January 2016, while in the Netherlands, a human rights group found regular abuse of gay and lesbian migrants at a large migrant centre near Nijmegen.
The group said that one migrant “repeatedly found excrement and food in his bed” as well as notes reading “kill gay” and “we don’t’ want gay in the camp.” It noted: “he is threatened and abused by fellow residents.”
Similarly in Sweden, a court has sentenced a migrant to five months imprisonment after he was caught on CCTV spitting at a fellow migrant and grabbing him by the throat, before kicking him unconscious
The court heard that the attacker was “outraged that Sweden protects homosexuality”, and thought that they “all should be killed by slaughtering.”