Out Lesbian Elected to Germany’s Highest Court

Germany is getting its very first lesbian Constitutional Court justice: Susanne Baer. She is a currently a professor for Public Law and Gender Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin, and has been an advocate for equal rights for women and sexual minorities. The Green Party nominated her for the position, and a committee of the German parliament elected her.

The Constitutional Court’s purpose is to interpret the Grundgesetz, i.e. the country’s constitution. Sixteen judges sit on the court, and each serves a twelve-year term.

I could only find stories about this development in German.
That is probably because the process for becoming a high court justice in Germany is uncontroversial compared to the U.S., and isn’t followed with much detail even there. Nevertheless, Germany’s commitment to sexual diversity at the high court is notable and important, especially considering that Germany still treats same-sex couples unequally under its tax laws.


Liz Newcomb is an attorney by day and committed LGBT activist by night and weekend. She has worked as a researcher at the Williams Institute. While in law school at UCLA, she was Articles Editor of the LGBT law journal. Liz lives in West Hollywood with her wife, Lynne. They are one of the 18,000 California same-sex couples who got married during the summer before proposition 8 passed. Liz has lived in California for over 20 years and brings a left coast perspective to AMERICAblog.

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