Freedom of Speech Impeded / Anti-Christian Slogans on Posters

Country: Germany

Date of incident: May 24, 2009

German Gay and Lesbian Association in opposition to two speeches on Psychotherapy congress on whether sexual orientation could be changed if wished for. Speeches had to be delivered with police protection. Anti-Christian counter-demonstration portrayed Jesus as a pig nailed to the cross and used slogans such as: “We are here to hurt your feelings.”

May 09: A German Gay and Lesbian Association (LSVD) opposed in an open letter from March 26th two speeches that were scheduled to be held on the "International Congress for Psychotherapy and Counceling Identity- the Scarlet Thread Running Through My Life" (20th to 24th of May 2009 in Marburg). The lectures were to be given by therapist Markus Hoffmann of the organization Wüstenstrom and medical doctor Dr. Christl Ruth Vonholdt of the Deutsche Institut für Jugend und Gesellschaft. These lectures were entitled: Christl Ruth Vonholdt - "Weibliche Identitätsentwicklung und mögliche Probleme" ("The development of female identity and possible problems") and Markus Hoffmann - "Reifung in der Identität als Frau und als Mann" ("Reaching maturity in identity as a woman and as a man"). The Gay and Lebian Association called upon the University in Magdeburg to distance itself from the meeting as both speakers have stated at other occasions that sexual orientation could be changed if wished for by the individual. On April 21st 2009 a declaration "for freedom and self-determination – against totalitarian gay and lesbian associations" was opened for signatures. Several thousand people including on high ranking officials signed in favor of the protection of the freedom of speech and scientific discussion. Among them: philosopher Robert Spaemann, former minister of state socialist Hans Apel, pubic law expert Martin Kriele, and member of parliament Norbert Geis. Due to these efforts, the speeches in question were not cancelled. Protests during the congress however required heavy police protection and forced the concerned speeches into an offsite location which prevented several people from participating. Homosexual activist groups were responsible for the smearing of walls of Christian buildings and the destruction of display cabinets of parishes. The meeting was described as an “evangelical, fundamentalist and homophobic event”. The governing Mayor of Marburg Kahle Fritz protested against the congress stating that “there is a freedom of speech but it doesn’t include the views shared by the participants of this meeting”. The protesters used amongst others the following slogans and images: - A pig nailed to the cross with the inscription “Jesus the victim”: - “Wir sind hier um Eure Gefühle zu verletzen” – We are here to hurt your feelings. - „Religion ist heilbar“ – Religion can be healed. “Gangbang statt Gebet” – Group sex instead of prayer - “Glaubst du noch oder denkst du schon?“ - Are you still a believer or have you begun to think? - “Vögle deinen Nächsten wie dich selbst – F* your neighbour as you do it yourself. - “Wenn ich groß bin werde ich lesbisch” – When I grow up I will become a Lesbian Please view this link providing background information in German and fotographs of the posters and slogans: [] Please read the statement of the German Instituts for Youth and Society in German: [[0]=marburg]