Equality groups are calling for a high profile German politician to withdraw comments she made stating gay marriage is the next biggest problem to the German public after the Eurozone crisis.
Last Tuesday (24 August) Katherina Reiche, a secretary of state for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats Union (CDU), told newspaper Bild that Germany's future 'lies in the hands of families, not in same-sex partnerships.'
She described gay marriage as 'this demographic development', saying it was 'next to the Euro crisis, the biggest threat to German prosperity.'
Reiche also said the CDU must 'clearly state that it backs the idea of family, children and marriage, and that society is not held together by small groups but from a stable centre.
Evelyne Paradis, executive director of the European region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Inter-sex Association, told Gay Star News today (28 August) Reiche should withdraw her statement.
She said: 'It is very unfortunate that a high-rank politician is making such overtly homophobic statements.
‘Cultivating prejudice and stirring fear is not a characteristic of a modern European mature politician.
‘Politicians are responsible for the promotion of respect and wellbeing of all society members.'
Reiche’s comments provoked an angry reaction from the public, with thousands of people airing their disappointment on Facebook, leading to Reiche taking her page down after it was flooded with angry comments.
Newspaper critics also pointed out the hypocrisy of this statement as Reiche herself had two of her three children out of wedlock, and members of her own party tweeted she had ‘gone too far’.
An open letter addressed to Reiche, which expressed the disappointment of many in Germany's gay community, was also linked to a Facebook protest group called ‘No Future with Katherina Reiche’.