World

German president apologizes to gays for decades of injustice

Germany's president has asked gays for forgiveness for decades of suffering and injustice they endured as a result of repressive laws in Germany in the Nazi era and after the Second World War.

President says he wants to reassure those in LGBTQ community that they are protected in today's Germany

Revellers dance during a gay pride celebration on July 22, 2017 in Berlin. (Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Germany's president has asked gays for forgiveness for decades of suffering and injustice they endured as a result of repressive laws in Germany in the Nazi era and after the Second World War.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke Sunday in a ceremony marking the persecution of gays by the Hitler regime.

The dpa news agency quoted Steinmeier as saying that the harsh treatment continued in the post-war era, in both parts of a then-divided Germany, where homosexuality for years remained a criminal offence.

The president says that "this is why I'm asking for forgiveness today, for all the suffering and injustice, and the silence that followed."

Steinmeier says he wants to reassure "all gays, lesbians and bisexuals, all queers, trans- and intersexuals" that they are protected in today's Germany.