Bahnhof AlexanderplatzDer S- und U-Bahnhof Alexanderplatz in Berlin Mitteist mit Regenbogenband beklebt.Eine Regenbogenstation. Das Künstlerkollektiv Tape That wurde für die Klebeaktion gebucht.Anlass der Pride-Monat Juni.(aussen war noch nicht so viel zu sehen und es REGNETE. doris)Foto: Doris Spiekermann-Klaas

Significantly more transphobic and homophobic offenses are being investigated in Berlin than is currently known. The number of convicts is also increasing. The Tagesspiegel learned this from federal officials. According to this, there were 645 procedures in Berlin last year for so-called hate crimes with reference to the sexual identity or sexual orientation of the victims.

64 suspects were convicted. In 2020 there were 632 procedures and 44 convictions, in the previous year 437 procedures and 29 convictions.

The current Berlin crime statistics stated: In 2021, 525 cases related to “sexual orientation and/or gender/sexual identity” were registered, 97 cases more than in 2020. According to information from the Tagesspiegel, numerous offenses were subsequently reported or cases reassessed internally .

Trans and homophobic cases are often grouped together under the heading of anti-queer acts. Most of the time, these are physical injuries, insults and incitement to hatred.

In Berlin there are by far the most investigations into anti-queer crimes nationwide. According to federal officials, this is due to the fact that there is a greater awareness in Berlin of reporting such acts. Berlin’s State Criminal Police Office (LKA) is also more sensitive to such incidents than authorities in other federal states.

The Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany (LSVD) also writes on its website that it is striking that “the cases reported by Berlin regularly make up one to two thirds of the figures published by the Federal Ministry of the Interior”. Since such offenses are hardly rarer in other federal states, Berlin police officers apparently recorded these acts more precisely.

Berlin’s Senator for Justice Lena Kreck (left) said on request that they were working towards the goal of a “safe rainbow capital”. “In Berlin, with the contact persons for the queer community in the police force and the central office for hate crime at the public prosecutor’s office, we are fortunately better positioned than any other federal state when it comes to investigations and prosecutions.”

Nevertheless, experts from the Berlin LKA estimate that up to 80 percent of all transphobic and homophobic offenses go unreported. The so-called unreported cases exceed the registered crimes many times over.

Federal officials are also currently circulating updated data on anti-queer crimes in other countries: in Hamburg there were 42 proceedings and seven convictions last year, in 2020 there were 28 proceedings and six convictions, and the year before 22 proceedings and two convictions. In North Rhine-Westphalia there were 90 proceedings and 14 convictions (2021), 25 proceedings and three convictions (2020) and 51 proceedings and four convictions (2019). In Baden-Württemberg last year there were 32 proceedings and 16 convictions, 31 proceedings and three convictions (2020), eight proceedings and two convictions (2019).

The crimes cannot always be assigned to specific subcategories, as is usual with political crime. The Federal Ministry of the Interior recently recorded most of the anti-queer offenses as “not assignable”, followed by the categories “right-wing” and “religious ideology”.

According to the LSVD, two murders of gay men are not listed in the statistics of the Ministry of the Interior, although the perpetrators confessed to homophobic motives in court: In October 2020, an Islamist from Syria murdered a man in Dresden and seriously injured his partner. In the same month, a man from Giessen stabbed his neighbor to death because “God” had told him to kill a “homosexual”.

Up to 500,000 participants are expected to attend Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin on Saturday. Senate leader Franziska Giffey (SPD) will open the parade at Spittelmarkt, the demonstration should go through Nollendorfplatz to the Brandenburg Gate.

Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) wants transphobic and homophobic acts to be punished more severely by amending criminal law paragraph 46. The paragraph states that when sentencing, the offender’s goals must be taken into account, “especially racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic or other inhumane ones”. This should be explicitly supplemented by “gender-specific” and “against sexual orientation” motives.