Gay refugees are being discriminated against and in some cases attacked by fellow refugees in shelters across several German cities. The Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany has said that the majority of the 95 homophobic attacks recorded in the country last year were committed in asylum-seeker shelters. A number of the incidents were made by Muslim refugees. The incidents included physical violence, sexual assaults, insults, threats and coercion.
"Some Muslims see the presence of homosexual or transsexual people in the lodging as an affront," said Ralpf Hoffmann, chairman of LGBT group Fliederlich. "Gay and lesbian people therefore come under constant stress." Berlin-based gay rights organisation Schwulenberatung also announced plans for an LGBT asylum shelter in the city, which would house 125 people.
"We have heard a lot of stories about discrimination and crimes against LGBT people in the last two years," said 'Schwulenberatung' manager Stephan Jakel. "They were frightened and scared after being beaten or spat on, and one survived a murder attempt. We heard a lot of horrible stories."
On the back of this, Fliederlich has announced plans to open a shelter for homosexual asylum seekers in Nuremberg. The two-storey shelter in the Bavarian city is to house around 10 gay and lesbian refugees, the Fliederlich group told Germany's DPA press agency. It estimates that around 600 of the 8,000 refugees in the city are homosexual.
Gay rights groups have put up posters in some asylum shelters in Berlin, depicting three couples kissing – a man and a woman, a man and a man, and a woman and a woman – in order to teach refugees about tolerance of sexual diversity. In response to reports of homophobic attacks in refugee shelters which emerged late last year, commentator Harald Martenstein wrote in Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel, "You must forget what you learned at home about what is right or wrong."
"You do not have to give up your culture, not that. But you must accept the equality of women. You must learn that homosexuals and Jews are just like everyone else," he continued. "You must bear mocking and satire, even when it concerns your religion... If you don't accept these rules, you have no future here."
On Monday (25 January 2016), Dutch education minister Jet Bussemaker announced plans to educate refugees about gay rights after five gay asylum seekers were attacked at a shelter in Amsterdam.
More than one million refugees and migrants entered Germany in 2015, with many LGBT refugees fleeing conflict and homophobic persecution in their homelands.