BERLIN The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said Jan. 12 it would review questions on morals asked of would-be citizens after complaints by Muslims and Jews.
The justice minister of the southwestern state said questions used to assess the suitability of applicants for German citizenship would be reviewed in six months.
“I assume that some of the questions will silently disappear,” including one about homosexuality, Ulrich Goll said on Suedwestrundfunk radio. He also denied reports that the questions were only put to Muslims.
Starting Jan. 1, state officials have been given a list of 30 questions to be used as guidelines during interviews with applicants for citizenship.
Possible questions include probing applicants’ opinions on sexuality, arranged marriages and how young women should dress.
“Imagine that your grown up son comes to you and explains that he is homosexual and would like to live with another man. How would you feel?” reads one question.
The list has been sharply criticized by Muslim groups and lawmakers, as well as Jewish leaders, who argue it is discriminatory.
However, some state and federal officials have defended the list as a fair way to assess whether future citizens uphold the values guaranteed by Germany’s constitution.
Baden-Wuerttemberg Governor Guenther Oettinger’s coalition of conservatives and pro-business Free Democrats faces a state election in late March
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of January 20, 2006.
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