New research shows that more people identify as LGBT in Germany than in any other European country.
According to a new study, Germany has the biggest queer population in Europe, with 7.4 per cent of Germans defining themselves as LGBT.
The news comes from Berlin’s Dalia Research, which published the results of a Europe-wide EuroPulse study, which interviewed 12,000 people across 28 EU countries.
On average, 8.6 per cent of people in Europe across the study said they weren’t exclusively straight, with 10.9 per cent of Germans saying the same. 5.9 per cent of Europeans identified as LGBT, and 1.4 per cent as asexual. The results also showed that young people are more inclined to identify as non-straight. While 11.2 per cent of Germans aged between 15-29 defined as LGBT, only 5.7 per cent of 30-49 year olds said the same.
Despite public support for equal marriage and a socially liberal reputation, marriage is still exclusive to heterosexual couples in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly challenged any changes to marriage laws, saying: “For me, marriage is a man and a woman living together.” An Equal marriage bill was passed last year with the support of opposition parties, but it is unlikely to become law without the Chancellor’s approval.
Still, if we look at gay adoption rights, Germany remains very progressive compared to other countries in Europe, and in terms of trans issues, it is one of the most liberal nations in the world. Citizens have been able to change their legal gender since 1980 and can freely choose to identify as neither male nor female. It was also recently confirmed that Germany will pay compensation to men who faced convictions under the country’s historic laws banning gay sex, a stark contrast to the UK government’s approach.
Conversely, only 1.4 per cent of respondents in Hungary identified as LGBT, although it’s important to remember that people may feel less able to live openly in countries with high levels of homophobia and transphobia.
Words // Louis Staples