A new centre dedicated for the use of gay migrants opened in Germany yesterday, despite claims from the local state’s Social Ministry that potential residents face no major risk of attack by other migrants.
The first tenants are expected to move into the dedicated shelter for gay migrants in the next few days. The facility is a large eight-person apartment in Nuremberg which has been leased by the gay and lesbian group ‘Fliederlich’, reports Deutsche Welle.
Emilia Müller, a spokeswoman for Bavaria’s Social Ministry, claimed gay migrants face no major risk of attack from their fellow countrymen. In a declaration of faith she said Germany expects all migrants to coexist peacefully, irrespective of religion, origin or sexual orientation. Such expectations have not, to date, proved to be grounded in reality.
Although Ms. Müller believes the new facility in Nuremberg is surplus to requirements, gay and lesbian groups throughout Germany disagree. Explaining “prejudices don’t disappear when one crosses borders,” Fliederlich CEO Michael Glas highlighted the risk of confrontation for gay migrants who do not have access to separate facilities.
Revealing that his organisation has been contacted by migrants who said they felt threatened in their current shelters, he added: “Some Muslims are offended by the presence of homosexuals or transgender people in refugee shelters.”
Another group covering the states of Berlin and Brandenburg said it recorded 95 incidents involving gay migrants — including physical violence, sexual attacks and threats — between August and December last year. This was backed up by previous reports from the Netherlands, where threats and attacks against gay migrants are reported to be so numerous and serious that they “often don’t dare leave their rooms”.
With an estimated 600 gay refugees in the Nuremberg area alone, and a further 3,500 awaiting residency in Berlin, the demand for shelter is self-evident. The Nuremburg facility is just one of four similar ones opening across Germany in the coming months. In March one with 120 beds will open in Berlin, with both Munich and Frankfurt considering similar initiatives.