(Blogmensgo, gay blog of September 26, 2016) The German state of Lower Saxony is funding a new aid network for homosexual refugees and asylum seekers with a total of €80,000 over two years. Cornelia Rundt, the state Social Minister (SPD) announced this step on September 19, 2016. In addition, the money should help to inform and sensitize the German population about sexual diversity.
The new network coordinated by Kadir Özdemir is intended to protect homosexual immigrants from violence, discrimination and mobbing, which unfortunately have increased lately. This is why the information and awareness campaign particularly focuses on Muslim refugees who tend to show high homophobic intolerance levels.
The new network already funds and coordinates activities of existing organizations. As an example, they are trying to educates asylum seekers about Germany’s welcoming culture, particularly in terms of gender questions and sexual orientation.
A variety of associations and groups working in fields like education, help for immigrants and the LGBT community will benefit from the “Queer Netzwerk Niedersachsen.”
The social minister pointed out that the money will be used to fund homes and apartments for homo- and transsexual people. For example, the city of Hanover opened an apartment for nine gay men.
Shortly after the networking office was opened, numerous inquiries from immigrants were received, according to Kadir Özdemir.
This initiative in Lower Saxony follows suit after a similar one in Berlin where a home for LGBT refugees was opened in the beginning of the year (see our article). More projects like this exist in other parts of Germany, and Austria is currently evaluating such steps.