Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels/Wiki
A car park in Germany has had three “diversity” spaces reserved for LGBTQ people and migrant drivers.
Located in Hanau city centre, the spaces in an underground car park have been put in place by Hanauer Parkhaus GmbH (HPG). The spaces are intended to help people who need protection.
It’s unclear at this stage how authorities will monitor who is using the spaces, but a camera is said to be in place.
“A special need for protection”
Speaking at the unveiling of the spaces, Thomas Morlock, the chairman of the supervisory board of HPG and a city councillor, said the hope was for people who feel “a special need for protection” to have guaranteed spaces.
He also said that the spaces were decorated with the rainbow stripes to promote “diversity and tolerance,” adding they weren’t necessarily meant to be used by “separate groups of people,” as the Mail reports.
In May, German police reported a 36% increase in LGBTQ hate crime with 782 crimes reported in 2020. Meanwhile, xenophobic hate crimes rose by 19.1%.
Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for Germany’s biggest LGBTQ group LSVD, told Reuters that the increase may be as a result of people feeling more able to go to report incidents to police.
“Queer people feel more secure to go report these incidents to the police, which might not have been the same in the past," said Ulrich.
“In the past few years, the German police have improved the way they register these crimes and they’re more likely to label them specifically as hate crimes against LGBT+ people."
Last year Germany banned conversion therapy for minors and legalised same-sex marriage in 2017. The country also recently elected two trans women – a first in the country – to the national Parliament.
Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik both stood for the Greens party.
Ganserer said: "It is a historic victory for the Greens, but also for the trans-emancipatory movement and for the entire queer community," while Slawik also described it as "historic", according to Reuters.
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