Out Lesbian Elected to Germany’s Highest Court

Germany is getting its very first lesbian Constitutional Court justice: Susanne Baer. She is a currently a professor for Public Law and Gender Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin, and has been an advocate for equal rights for women and sexual minorities. The Green Party nominated her for the position, and a committee of the German parliament elected her.

The Constitutional Court’s purpose is to interpret the Grundgesetz, i.e. the country’s constitution. Sixteen judges sit on the court, and each serves a twelve-year term.

I could only find stories about this development in German.
That is probably because the process for becoming a high court justice in Germany is uncontroversial compared to the U.S., and isn’t followed with much detail even there. Nevertheless, Germany’s commitment to sexual diversity at the high court is notable and important, especially considering that Germany still treats same-sex couples unequally under its tax laws.




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Why Germany’s Guido Westerwelle Won’t Bring Boyfriend to Countries That Hate Homos

We want to promote the concept of tolerance in the world. But we don't want to achieve the opposite by behaving imprudently. It is smarter to advance step-by- step and sensitively. I think it is important that we live by our own standards of tolerance and that we do not adopt sometimes less tolerant standards as our own. … My motto is: do what you like if it does not hurt anyone else.

—Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister and vice chancellor, explaining why he won't travel with his partner Michael Mronz to some of the world's 75 countries that persecute gays; he's already visited Yemen and Saudi Arabia without Mronz, but took him to China.

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